Reduce your Trash

Another way to contribute to the closing of the recycling loop is to reduce your trash. We've already talked about buying items made from recycled content and using our consumer buying power to influence what products are available. 

We can also reduce the amount of waste that we create by purchasing products with less packaging and making better choices in our daily life. Again, it's not all or nothing, do what you can and feel comfortable with. Here are a few ways to reduce your trash:

Bullet Buy in bulk - one large box of cereal produces less waste than several small boxes (and it's usually less expensive too). Buy in Bulk
Bullet Purchase products with the least amount of packaging - A bottle of vitamins packaged using a cellophane wrapper produces less waste than a bottle of vitamins packaged in a box. One large bag of potato chips produces less waste than the variety pack packaged as individual servings.
Bullet If you are not providing your own shopping bag when making purchases, opt not to take one if you are able to carry your items without it. Reuse Shopping Bags
Bullet Use lunch boxes instead of brown bags when packing yours or your child's lunch.
Bullet Opt to receive e-bills instead of paper bills, e-statements instead of paper statements, and pay your bills online instead of using checks and envelopes. (and you save postage).
Bullet Purchase products packaged with recyclable material - Purchase eggs in a paperboard carton instead of a Styrofoam one.
Bullet Avoid using disposable items such as paper plates, cups, eating utensils.
Bullet Use refillable razors instead of disposable razors.
Bullet Purchase fresh fruits instead of canned fruits or those packaged as individual servings. Produce
Bullet Use products that are concentrated and use less packaging - concentrated fabric softener and detergent use less packaging than the regular.
Bullet Reduce your trash by purchasing items that are refillable or returnable.
Bullet Use reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper.
Bullet Take cloth or mesh shopping bags to the store instead of using paper or plastic (some stores will offer you a credit if you provide your own bag). Cloth Shopping Bag
Bullet Leave the grass clipping on your lawn instead of bagging them. The clippings also help fertilize your lawn.
Bullet Stop unwanted junk mail! Use the following link and phone number to find steps you can take to keep from getting all that JUNK!

Junk Mail

http://www.dmachoice.org
Give Your Mailbox a Makeover

1-888-5-OPT-OUT
to stop those pesky credit card offers

Keep in mind that it often takes several attempts to be removed completely from every list out there. Removal requests are often only processed a few times a year, so it may also take a few months.

Next - Recycle household items

More Information on Recycling Beyond the Basics

What to Recycle Next
Now that you are more comfortable with the recycling basics, we can start doing even more to help the environment. Learn what to recycle next.

Buying Recycled Products
Buying recycled products helps close the recycling loop and create a bigger demand for products made from recycled content.

Reducing the Amount of Your Trash
You can reduce your trash by purchasing products with less packaging and making better choices in your daily life.

Recycling Food Scraps
Make compost from your kitchen scraps and yard waste. Reduce your waste while providing nutrients for your plants and garden.

Recycling Hazardous Waste
Keep our soil and water from becoming tainted, recycle hazardous waste. Ensure it doesn't end up in a landfill.

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