How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle


How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Three little words make a big difference for the environment, so much so that many environmental groups use them as a mantra. These three words refer to how people handle waste, which is currently a big problem on Earth. Think of the three Rs-reduce, reuse and recycle-to save the environment. Find out how everyone can do his or her part to help.

  • Reduce the amount of trash you throw away by buying responsibly. If you have to choose between two similar items, go with the one that uses less packaging. Try the concentrated laundry and dish detergents in smaller bottles rather than the watered down big bottles. Better yet, reduce the number of things you buy. Just buy smart.

  • Limit your use of hazardous substances like paint, cleaners and pesticides. Buy only what you need. When finished, dispose of the container properly, as it's too easy for these products to invade our soil or water.

  • Reuse containers instead of throwing them in the garbage can. Use washable cups instead of disposable ones or reuse plastic forks and spoons. Make bird feeders out of two-liter soda bottles. Also, think about buying rechargeable items and rechargeable batteries that allow you to reuse items repeatedly without contributing to waste.

  • Repair broken items instead of trashing them and buying something new. If you no longer want an item, give it to someone who can use it.

  • Recycle as much as possible. Recycling turns waste into useful resources. Good for you if recycle newspapers and soda cans, but did you know that people recycle cell phones, Christmas trees and tires as well?

  • Buy products or packaging made with recycled content. You can also "precycle" by buying products in easily recyclable packaging.

  • Support recycling programs in your community. Many communities offer recycling centers with bins for different items. Almost half of Americans benefit from curbside recycling where they can place aluminum, steel cans, plastic, glass and newspaper at the curbs for pick up.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reduce junk mail by asking catalog companies to remove you from mailing lists. You can also write credit bureaus to ask them to stop credit card companies from sending you pre-approved credit offers.
  • Gardeners can reduce household garbage by starting a compost pile for vegetable and fruit leftovers, eggshells, coffee grounds and other daily items.

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