Sustainability tips to help reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Bella Araiza, Recruitment Capacity Building Specialist Individual Placement / AmeriCorps Member
If you are a nature lover like I am, you probably want to help protect our natural areas as much as you can. Maybe you just want to find new ways to reduce waste. There are people who try to go completely waste-free, which is hard to do when you have a limited budget and resources. For a while, I have been looking for ways to personally reduce my use of resources and reuse what I can. In this post, I will share things I have learned that work well with my budget and lifestyle, but may not work for everyone, and that’s okay 😊.
Ways to reduce water:
There are some well-known ways to reduce water like taking shorter showers and turning off the water while you brush your teeth. A while ago I found out that pre-rinsing dishes can be a huge waste of water. Scrape any solid foods off and pop them right into the dishwasher. The soap and jets will take care of the rest. Another way I’ve been trying to save water is by doing laundry less frequently. That doesn’t mean that I wear dirty clothes, I just wait until I have a full load instead of doing partial loads. Some washers (like mine) don’t have a water setting and use the same amount no matter the number of clothes put in, I do the same with how I run my dishwasher.
I have been trying to recycle as much as I can but found out that some plastic waste items like GoGo Squeeze pouches and snack wrappers aren’t recyclable in my local recycling. I did some research and found out about Terracycle. Terracycle is a no-waste company that attempts to recycle everything. While there are boxes you can buy to collect certain items, Terracycle has paired up with some brands to offer free recycling. This program allows you to print a free shipping label and put your items in a box and ship them where they will be responsibly recycled. I plan on using this with my pet food bags, cosmetic bottles, and snack pouches. You can also find local recycling programs by doing a simple google search about recycling certain items near you.
Reducing Solid Waste:
There are so many ways to reduce waste, some easier than others. If you are interested in reducing food waste, you can start a compost bin. There are DIY options online or there are some cheap options that you can buy and easily store under your sink or outside. Learn about what to do with the compost here.
Instead of throwing out old clothes/toys/books, consider donating or selling them. Many books can be donated to libraries or local thrift stores. Some Goodwills will take fabric scraps and send them off to be recycled, just check with your local store. You may also consider hosting a yard sale. Yard sales are often easy ways to get rid of unwanted items while still making some money. There are usually lots of local places to donate items and a Google search will help you find them.
I hope this post was helpful and provided some new tips on reducing, reusing, and recycling!