Each year Americans generate millions of tons of waste… call it garbage, refuse, or trash… it’s the waste we produce in our homes and communities. Each of us can make a difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials at home and throughout our communities—and encouraging our neighbors to do the same.
Waste prevention reduces the generation of waste in the first place, so it is the most preferred method of waste management and goes a long way toward protecting the environment. You can reduce waste by:
- Purchasing durable, long-lasting goods.
- Seeking products and packaging that are as toxic free.
- Redesigning products to use less raw material in production, have a longer life, or be used again after its original use.
- Use durable coffee mugs.
- Refill bottles.
- Reuse boxes.
- Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
- Participate in a paint collection and reuse program.
- Use cloth napkins or towels.
- Donate old magazines or surplus equipment.
- Turn empty jars into containers for leftover food.
Recycling prevents the emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, and saves energy.
Using recovered material generates less solid waste. Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by the extraction and processing of virgin materials. Also, when products are made using recovered rather than virgin materials, less energy is used during manufacturing, and fewer pollutants are emitted.
Benefits of Recycling
- Conserves resources for our children’s future.
- Prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants.
- Saves energy.
- Supplies valuable raw materials to industry.
- Creates jobs.
- Stimulates the development of greener technologies.
- Reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators.
Buying Recycled Products
There’s more to recycling than setting out your recyclables at the curb. In order to make recycling economically feasible, we must buy recycled products and packaging. When we buy recycled products, we create an economic incentive for recyclable materials to be collected, manufactured, and marketed as new products.
Another form of recycling is composting. Composting is the controlled, biological decomposition of organic matter, such as food and yard wastes, into humus, a soil-like material. Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic waste into new soil, which can be used in vegetable and flower gardens, landscaping, and many other applications.
Explore the Benefits of Composting