While recycling is part of the solution for preserving landfill space and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there are other ways to decrease the amount of waste generated at home, work and special events. Reusing reusable items and reducing the use of disposable items are actions we can all take before even considering recycling.
Here are some reusable alternatives to try:
Buy cloth napkins that you can wash instead of paper you throw away
Buy products made of recycled materials
Buy razors with replaceable blades
Buy rechargeable batteries
Buy washable plates and cups for picnics instead of disposables
Seek out reusable or refillable containers that hold shampoo, soap, etc.
Use plastic or glass containers with lids instead of aluminum foil, plastic bags or plastic wrap
Use washable cloths instead of throwaway wipes
When asked the question "Paper or plastic?" why not bring your own reusable cloth shopping bags instead? Using a reusable cloth bag when going shopping at any store will help divert tons of unnecessary paper and plastic bags produced and disposed of everyday in landfills. Cloth bags also hold a lot more, so there are fewer trips back and forth from the car. and the cloth carrying handles are more comfortable on your hands than paper or plastic handles.
No recycling program is truly successful unless recyclables collected are transformed into marketable products and then purchased by you. To create a demand for recycled product, make sure to purchase paper that contains recycled materials. When shopping, buy those items that say, "Made from recycled materials" and have the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content (any material that the public has already used or recycled).