Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

 In Blog

Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Or set any goals? It’s not too late if you want to do it!

If you’re looking to set a goal for 2021 that will benefit more than you, why not create one that will help the environment? Set the goal to reduce, reuse, and recycle in 2021!

According to Loyola University, when you work to reduce, reuse, and recycle, you will:

  • Keep goods and materials out of landfills
  • Advance green technology
  • Create less hazardous waste
  • Reduce the need for new landfills and incinerators
  • Generate new business and employment opportunities
  • Reduce the strain on valuable resources (forests, water, fuel) and safeguard wildlife habitats

Those are some pretty good reasons to make this your resolution for 2021.

If you need a few ideas on how you can help, here are some easy ones!

  • Try Not to Use Disposable Goods: Sure, paper plates, and cups are easy and mean no dishes. But you’ll be doing more to help the environment by refraining from using them unless absolutely necessary. And if you’re going to use them, seek out those made from recycled materials. 
  • Look for Products Made from Recycled Materials: No matter what you’re purchasing, take a moment to read the label. Look for products that are made from recycled materials. Take a look at this list of 15 surprising things made from recycled materials and this list of upcycled and recycled products that Wired put together
  • Donate Things That Are In Good Condition: If you’re going to spend some time decluttering, donate things that are in good condition. This will save them from hitting the local landfill, and someone else can put them to good use.
  • Use Personal Water Bottles: Get yourself a great reusable water bottle – and use it! Here are three facts that Healthy Human shared about plastic water bottles:
    • It takes three times the amount of water in a bottle of water to make it as it does to fill it.
    • Plastic water bottles are made from a petroleum product called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which requires giant amounts of fossil fuels to make and transport.
    • The production of bottled water uses 17 million barrels of oil a year. That’s slightly more than it would take to fill one million cars a year with fuel.
  • Go Digital: Go digital where you can! Have your bills emailed to you and pay them online. Download books and magazines! There are lots of ways you can use technology to help.
  • Buy In Bulk When Possible: Every time you go to the grocery store, you probably buy things that are packaged in all sorts of ways – from paper to plastic to cardboard. Buy in bulk when you can to reduce packaging – so it doesn’t end up in landfills.
  • Double Check What You Have Before Buying: And before you buy, double-check to see what you might have already! This is where reusing and upcycling can really come into play!
  • Borrow, Rent, or Share: Ask around and see if friends or family might have what you need – so you can borrow it! Or ask a friend if they’d like to share some things. Or rent from local stores if it’s not an item you need permanently.
  • Repair Don’t Replace: It might seem easier just to replace broken items – especially if the cost to replace it is equal to what it costs to repair it. But, when you throw it away – you know where it goes – to the landfill. Fix or repair what you can.
  • Shop Secondhand: If you haven’t been secondhand shopping, you are missing out. So many new items or items in excellent condition end up at secondhand shops. Save yourself some money and do some good for the environment.
  • Know What Proper Recycling Looks Like: Finally, be sure you know what proper recycling looks like. Check with your local municipality to see what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to recycling.

Setting a goal is always a good idea! And setting a goal that can benefit the environment is a great idea. Use these simple tips to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle this year.

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