Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse
By Mara Strom
Want to live a greener life, but don't know where to start? It's simple -- practice the three Rs! Reduce, reuse and recycle.
With curbside recycling programs in nearly every community in America, it's never been easier to rescue your refuse. It takes just a few minutes each day to follow these 10 tips and give your trash the proper un-burial.
1. Never toss plastic, glass, cardboard or aluminum into the trashcan. If your town doesn't offer curbside recycling pick up, sort it at home and swing by a nearby collection center.
2. Bring used alkaline batteries and fluorescent bulbs to a proper collection center. If you throw them away, they will leach corrosive acid and mercury into the soil and ground water.
3. Compost food scraps and yard clippings. If you don't have a yard or garden that can use the natural fertilizer, check your municipal website for a community drop-off.
4. Bring your second-hand clothing to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or other local thrift store.
5. Become an e-cycler. When your electronic device can't be repaired or reused, recycle it safely. The EPA has a comprehensive list of organizations that accept old technology.
6. Donate old magazines and children's books to your local library, doctor's office or daycare center.
7. Initiate a paper recycling program at your workplace if there isn't one already.
8. Take care when recycling household hazardous waste. Old paint cans, jugs of antifreeze, pesticide bottles, etc. need to be recycled separately, so check your municipal website for the nearest collection center.
9. Return your used inkjet or laser printer cartridges to an authorized retail recycling location. Many now offer you generous store credit for your good deed.
10. Bring it full circle by purchasing products that are made from or packaged with recycled materials.
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