We have recently added this section because it is vital that as a community we advance the principles of sustainability to enhance our quality of life. Sustainability means thinking about our behavior in a bigger context and recognizing that the choices we make have a profound effect on our future. Please join us in working for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.
Before Recycling... Reduce and Reuse
Did you know?
If we continue our present course, Los Angeles area residents will create enough garbage to fill the Coliseum every day. Landfills, where most of our trash ends up, are filling up fast and siting new landfills has become increasingly difficult. In response to landfill shortage, California passed a law requiring all cities to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfills by 50%. As part of these efforts, cities have been teaching residents about waste management alternatives: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. You may already be recycling, but now is the time to start practicing the other R's… Reduce and Reuse.
What does Reduce and Reuse mean?
Reducing means eliminating waste before it is produced. Reusing means finding new uses for items that might otherwise be discarded. By making a few changes in your purchasing patterns and daily habits, you can reduce the amount of waste your produce.
How do I get started?
Take a look at the items you purchase and use in your daily life, and the impact these have on the environment. Is the product made from recycled content? Is the item meant to last or be discarded after one use? Can the container by reused or recycled? Can the product be bought in bulk or large sizes?
Consider not only the product, but also the packaging, which account for almost one-third of our garbage. Out of every $11 we spend on food, $1 goes for packaging. Avoid products that are over packaged, such as a bottle inside of a box. Contact manufactureres and ask them to offer products with less packaging.
Every time you go shopping there are hundreds of items competing for your attention and dollars. We used to buy high-quality items that lasted. Now we are tempted to buy inexpensive things meant to be thrown away after one use (e.g. disposable cameras, razors and coffee cups). It is time to get back to buying quality products that have a long life and are easy to repair.
Here are some more helpful hints:
- Use sponges and dish towels for cleaning and drying instead of paper towels.
- Reduce yard clippings by composting or leaving cut grass on the lawn.
- Borrow or rent items you use infrequently.
- Mend or repair clothes and appliances instead of replacing them or throwing them away.
- Make cleaning rags out of worn clothes, towels and sheets.
- Donate unwanted furniture, appliances, and other items to thrift stores and charities.
- Use plastic and paper grocery bags as trash can liners.
- Pass on magazines and books to hospitals, senior centers and friends.
- Practice preventative maintenance for longer wear.
- Reduce junk mail on line at www.dmachoice.org or www.mailpreferenceservice.com
Service is free on line; a $1.00 fee for mailed back forms for further information call 323-848-6404
- Reduce Your Junk Mail [PDF]
At the Store:
- Carry your own canvas bag.
- Refuse a bag at the check-out counter for small purchases.
- Buy detergents, cleaners and other items in large sizes or refillable containers.
- Buy reusable shaving razors rather than disposables.
- Avoid products that are overpackaged.
- Buy products made from recycled and recyclable content.
- Buy durable products that are easy to repair and have long warranties.
- Reduce paper waste by making two-sided copies.
- Edit documents on the computer to reduce the need to print multiple drafts.
- Carry your lunch in reusable containers rather than paper bags.
- Bring a coffee cup from home instead of using disposable cups.
- Whenever possible, use email instead of snail mail.
- Use recycled paper; encourage your purchasing department to buy recycled content products.
- Use scrap paper printed on only one side for scratch paper.
- Use "Outlook notes" when writing down your phone messages.
Now that you have the basic idea of how to Reduce and Reuse, take it one step further. How about simply consuming less? Advertisers want us to think that we simply must have the latest, greatest version of a product and constantly bombard us with stimulus to buy, buy, buy, buy. But do we really need these things? Consider the impact all this consumption has on the environment.
By making small changes in our daily lives, we can collectively make a difference. Remember… every effort helps, regardless of how small. Take this opportunity to leave less behind for the future. For more information feel free to call us at (323) 848-6404 or email us.