Garbage is one of the few environmental problems we can do something about. Here are some ideas for:
- Use fewer materials whenever possible.
- Make products with recycled materials when possible.
- Make products that are readily reusable and recyclable.
- Price products to reflect the real costs of using virgin vs. recycled materials
- Provide detailed information so consumers can make informed purchasing choices.
- Encourage innovative waste reduction ideas among employees.
- Provide recycling containers.
- Provide reusable coffee mugs and charge less per cup when they are used instead of disposable cups.
- Use recycled paper products.
- Photocopy on both sides of paper.
- Post or circulate memos when appropriate, rather than printing multiple copies.
- Share reports and periodicals instead of duplicating or purchasing multiple copies.
- Use electronic mail.
- Make reports and data available on line.
- Use shredded waste paper rather than purchased packing material.
- Buy products in recyclable containers and recycle them.
- Buy paper products with post consumer recycled paper content.
- Buy durable, reusable items rather than disposable ones.
- Buy in bulk.
- Don't accept bags for small purchases.
- Use reusable cloth or mesh shopping bags.
- When appropriate, rent or borrow what you need.
- Write to companies to express your opinions on their products and packaging.
- Repair items whenever possible, rather than throwing them away.
- Reuse boxes, other containers, and aluminum foil before recycling.
- Support organizations that promote waste reduction.
- Start a recycling program in your home, neighborhood, or company.
- Write on both sides of paper before recycling.
- Use scrap paper for notes, lists, message pads.
- Share magazine subscriptions with friends or neighbors.
- Save boxes, paper, ribbons, egg cartons, fabric, etc. for kids' art projects or donate to school art departments.
- Give clothing, furniture, appliances, toys and other items you no longer want to charitable organizations for reuse or sale.
- Form a hand me down chain in your neighborhood or organization.
- Donate used books to the library or a charitable organization, or have a book swap in your neighborhood.
- Compost yard wastes, food scraps, and other organic material.
- Write to your government representatives to urge action, register complaints, or offer support.
- Write to The Direct Marketing Association (Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9099) to have your name taken off mailing lists for products and services you don't want.
- Learn more about the solid waste stream, waste prevention, recycling, and what you can do.
What other things can you start doing at home, work, or school to reduce the amount of garbage in your own community? Find out what some other people have been doing to make a difference.
Profiles: The Herald Review of Grand Rapids, MN, and Herman Miller, Inc.
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