Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do you know the three Rs of waste management? Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Many people can recite them, but it helps to understand more about each way you can make a difference.
Avoid purchasing single-serve containers like water bottles. Instead, invest in a reusable bottle for all your hydration needs and reuse it daily. Buy in bulk to eliminate unnecessary containers (examples include a larger tube of toothpaste or dishwasher detergent). Turn down grocery store bags and carry items by hand or bring your own reusable cloth bag(s) with you.
Clean out your closet, garage, or basement and donate gently used items to a local charity. Donating allows your goods to be reused and helps those in your community who are in need. Reuse items like grocery bags, cups, plates, and other utensils.
Don’t automatically throw items in the trash; make a conscious effort to recycle every day. That includes things such as cans, bottles, glass, paper, cardboard, plastics, and yard waste. Don’t forget about outdated electronics. Cellular devices, laptops, or old technology (including ink and toner) can be recycled responsibly.
The other “R” word
Another R-word that is commonly forgotten is repair. Why not fix an item when it breaks rather than quickly replacing it? There is value in keeping goods instead of discarding them. Don’t forget to rethink or reinvent, too. There are many creative ways to re-purpose your treasures instead of throwing them away.
Before you upgrade an item, be sure to remove any batteries, as they should be recycled separately at stores such as Home Depot and Radio Shack. The alkaline and other chemicals in car, watch, and household batteries should never be thrown in the trash, as the materials can leak acid, which contaminates soil and water. Consider buying rechargeable batteries rather than single-use