Thursday, June 30, 2011

Green Thinking: Reducing Plastic Waste

Recycling is great, but reducing is even better - it takes less energy than recycling, and prevents materials from being used in the first place.

In the case of plastic, it's usually "downcycled," not recycled, which means it's made into something else that often can't be recycled further (such as plastic furniture) due to the recycling process. So it's especially important to reduce the amount used in the first place.

It's easy to do. Some of these are very small steps, but they add up!
- Don't use straws at restaurants, and consider bringing your own take-out containers.
- Use reusable bags (including produce bags) at the grocery store.
- Don't chew gum (really! Many kinds are made using a type of plastic). Seriously. Look it up.
- Re-consider packaged products. Buy cardboard or glass, if possible, and take a look at the bulk bin in your grocery store.
- Don't drink bottled water, and bring your own travel coffee mug to the coffee shop (plus you'll usually save a dime or two).
- Use matches instead of lighters.

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