Recycling Facts

1. Reducing waste at home

Energy is often wasted in our homes in ways we don’t even notice. Look around your home and see how you can save energy and waste by doing some simple things.

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Following the 3 R’s involves knowing how much you use, reusing it when you can, and buying products that are biodegradable.

  • Go Low Energy.

That means looking for low energy products such as light bulbs, dishwashers, and washing machines to purchase. Most will have the Energy Star approval seal, so it’s easy to seek these products out and buy, making a big difference in savings.

  • Turn Off Electrical Products.

Things that use electricity can also waste a ton of energy. The best thing to do is make sure they’re turned off when not in use and even invest in an automatic system that does the job for you. Who said you had to give up convenience?

2. Reducing waste at school

Helping the environment at school can be as simple as what you take for lunch.

Try packing a waste free lunch to eliminate wrappers, plastic, and other things that only wind up in the trash. To do this, you’ll want to buy your food in bulk and put it in reusable containers to carry to school. Not only does it save waste, it saves you money because you’re not paying for individual wrappers to open and throw away.

Another thing you can do is use the school’s silverware instead of plastic ware from home. This will definitely save costs and reduce the amount of trash for your school. Washing reusable containers and silverware is almost always a better idea than buying disposables.

3. Reducing waste at the office

Office waste is a huge problem worldwide. Trash from products such as paper and other products can be easily reduced by being creative and thinking ahead about things you can conserve.

According the EPA, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Reduce that number for your workplace by…

  • Printing on both sides of the paper instead of just one. You can set your printer to default to this setting and make it a company-wide practice.
  • Going paperless. Meaning all data is put on computer files instead of paper files. If you’re worried about privacy, modern software can virtually assure privacy and make files convenient to access with passwords and other encrypted codes.
  • Reusing intra-office envelopes and notepads. This will cut down on tons of paper and is usually more convenient than opening new packs. Think of all the paper that is wasted that we could easily recycle. When confused…Reuse.

4. Reducing waste while on vacation

Often we’re not aware of the trash we create while on vacation. It doesn’t matter where we go or how we get there, we can do a lot to avoid the trash we make with some simple tips.

Pick environmentally friendly places to stay. Stay at places that let you decide if you need your sheets and towels washed every day. They may also offer low flow toilets and showers that save on resources. Seek these places out and make your vacation as green as possible.

Avoid disposable items by bringing things from home. Reusable bags and containers will keep you from creating the trash you normally would. If you’re doing your own cooking, use plastic plates you can wash, not paper ones and pack a cooler with fruits and veggies instead of packaged food and snacks.

Walk when you can or even ride a bike. Hey, it’s a vacation, remember, you want to be outdoors. Choose to take a walk or use public transportation instead of hopping in the car to get somewhere.

Remember, it’s the little things that add up and can make a difference.

(These tips adapted from the Department of Environmental Quality’s site: Recycling Facts and Figures ( )