Saturday, April 18, 2009

Environment... Recycling, etc...

10 Basic Ways to reduce your own waste:
  1. Bulk Stores rule! No wrapping, no packaging, no frills – just about anything you may need sits in large bins, ready to scoop. From pasta to peanut butter (self-ground) and anything in between. Just go easy on those chocolate chips.
  2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag). Bring a cool-looking tote to take your groceries away in, and forgo those plastic carrier bags that stay around for the next few millennia.
  3. Recycle. (See below for more links about recycling)
  4. Compost your kitchen scraps. Your flower beds will be happy
  5. Lug Your Mug for take-out coffee; many places will even give you a discount for it.
  6. Avoid take-out food. I know, that can be a challenge on a Friday night. But all those plastic and foam take-out boxes produce a big stream of toxic garbage.
  7. Eat home-cooked meals. Okay, another potential mine field here, but let’s face it: all those plastic and aluminum trays that those frozen dinners and prepackaged meals come in don’t really compensate for their overload of sodium, saturated fats and missing vitamins.
  8. Drink tap water instead of bottled water. Evian and Perrier are no longer cool.
  9. Repair, don’t throw out. Need I say more?
  10. Buy durable. Sure, it may be a little bit more to get the better quality product, but it will last much longer and always pays for itself in the long run.
Reuse Revolution
All these things will also help reduce stress in your life by reducing clutter!
1) Thrift Stores: One of the best places to find items for reuse is at your local thrift store. From clothing to furniture, thrift stores are an inexpensive and eco-friendly place to nab just the right new-to-you item.
2) Shop At Home: Before any outing that may involve a potential purchase, be sure to check your house thoroughly for the items you need. Items from tape to picture frames can often be found lurking in a box in the closet or the murky “everything” drawer in the kitchen. Avoid impulse buying.
3) Swapping: Another great way to stave off the urge to shop and give yourself a great excuse to throw a party is to organize a swap with friends. Depending on your interests and needs, almost anything is fair game - clothes, books, toys and CDs are all popular items at a swap. Ask friends to bring some snackables and drinkables as well, and you will easily have yourself a fete, all without a new purchase. You can also check out the many swapping websites that easily and inexpensively allow members to swap books, CDs and DVDs online.
4) Free Stuff: There are many ways to “shop” online without ever spending a dime. Websites such as Craigslist, Freecycle, and Freebootr have myriad free items that are yours for the taking.
5) Lending and Borrowing: If you do find that you need a necessity such as a book or a tool, ask your friends if they have what you need first (and offer what you have in exchange when they need it). As we all learned in the sandbox, sharing is a great way to extend and expand the use and variety of resources. Don’t forget about the library too; after all these years, it’s still a good place to find a book!
*And rental centers - what a great place to get lawn chairs, tables, punch fountains and other things that are not for daily use when you need them!

What can you recycle?
-->Recycle Paper, Glass, Aluminum and more! *Recycle Grass Clippings
*Disposing of Hazardous Chemicals/Waste
*Interesting things about recycling you may not have thought about!
*Print and keep this recycling guide!
Want to know more? Visit the EPA website.

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