There are many things you can do in your daily life to reduce waste that you generate. It takes a conscious effort to think before you purchase something new, especially if the item is considered "disposable" or before you automatically throw an item in the trash as to whether it can be reused for another purpose. The following are suggestions or guidelines on ways to "reuse".
Switch from disposable products to products intended to be reused
- Food and beverage containers
- Shopping bags
- Shop at or hold garage sales for used clothing and household items
Buy and sell used items
- Buy or donate books to a used book store
- Borrow books from the library
- Buy rechargeable batteries, recycle them at end of life
- Fill empty plastic bottles with water and freeze to use in your coolers for picnics and camping.
- Plastic margarine tubs and yogurt containers work great in the freezer or refrigerator for storing leftovers.
- Plastic milk jugs work well for recycling used motor oil.
- Save plastic bags from grocery stores and use them as garbage bags for your smaller trash cans around the house. It saves money and reuses the bag one more time before entering the landfill.
- Cut up one-sided flyers and use the pieces for notepaper to keep by the telephone or use for shopping lists.
- Wrap postal packages in brown paper bags that have been saved.
- Punch holes in small jar caps to create a cheese or spice shaker.
- Reuse glass jars to store food, nails, screws and other useful household items.
- Keep old clothing and use it to create Halloween costumes or for children's dress-up.
- Use 100% cotton toweling as rags for cleaning the home or workshop.
- Donate old blankets, towels, and fabric scraps to animal shelters for pet bedding.
Freecycle Network (http://www.freecycle.org/)
- A grassroots movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. Follow link and enter city and state to find a group near you.
Northeast Recycling Council
- The Northeast Recycling Council's (NERC) website has an up to date listing for Materials Exchanges that are available in the Northeast
- NERC also administers the Reuse Marketplace website, which is a free online service to facilitate the reuse of surplus and unwanted items