Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Since we all produce garbage, we are all part of the problem, we can also be part of the solution. Instead of throwing away items we no longer need, we can make sure they find their way to the next stage in their life cycle.
We can REDUCE the amount of waste we produce in the first place; REUSE an item or find someone who can use it; RECYCLE the product so that our valuable natural resources are used again and again.
This page is designed to assist you in making effective waste management decisions each day. If each person makes small changes in their buying and waste handling habits, it can make a big difference!
Over the years, both industries and individuals have tried to reduce our packaging waste. Packaging has been redesigned to make it more reusable and recyclable. More and more packages and products are being made of recyclable materials (which keeps them out of the garbage).
Some examples are concentrated laundry soap that gives you the same cleaning power in a smaller package, plastic refill pouches for mouthwash and fabric softener and toothpaste tubes that stand alone rather than inside another package. Spices and food items can be scooped out of a bin instead of buying them in individual boxes or bags.
Packages have become thinner and lighter. Since 1986, the average weight of soft drink cans has been reduced by 33% and the weight of plastic bottles by 14% even glass bottles have been lightened. This is encouraging but we must always remain aware of our choices because there is still a lot of wasteful packaging going into your home.
You can make a difference…
- When you shop, look for products with minimal packaging. It's best if the packaging you choose can be reused or recycled.
- Go for unpackaged bulk goods and products in refillable containers.
- Buy products in large size "economy" or "family" size rather than single use sizes.
- Bring your own shopping bag to the store.
- Bring your own dishware to work.
- Educate yourself and others about packaging: find out what can be reduced, reused or recycled in your neighbourhood.
- If you think something is over-packaged, tell the store manager or complain to the manufacturer. They really do listen to consumers.
We have gathered together a collection of ideas for reuse given to us by people like you who are interested in making a difference in our community. They will be posted on this site soon.