Source Reduction: The Most Important of the 3 R‘s
Americans use way too much “stuff!” Although we do not have the largest population in the world, we use a disproportionate amount of the earth’s natural resources. To reduce our dependency on oil and other natural resources, we need to practice the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and then Recycle). The first R, Reduce, is the most important! There are some very easy steps to follow when we want to practice using fewer natural resources.
- Take reusable shopping bags to the stores, both grocery and general merchandise stores.
- Use a travel mug when visiting the local coffee shop.
- Take a reusable cup or travel mug when a luncheon is using Styrofoam cups.
- Use a thermos for drinking water instead of buying bottled water to carry.
- Use cloth or other reusable lunch bags when packing lunches.
- Buy snacks and other food in large bags and pack them in reusable plastic containers, not plastic bags.
- When entertaining, use reusable plates and silverware when possible. When disposable ones are needed, don’t use Styrofoam ones!
- When painting, buy only the amount of paint that you will need to do the job.
- If you don’t need something, don’t buy it. This will help your budget, too.
- If you only need to use something for a short time, try to borrow it or rent it.
- When you have clothes, toys, and other items that are still in good condition, donate them to a charity or sell them at a garage sale or on E-Bay.
- Use both sides of the paper.
- Make note pads out of scrap paper.
- Compost organic material to save on using fertilizer and to have less trash going into the landfills.
- Join Freecycle to get free items that someone else doesn’t need, and to give items that you no longer have a use for. (FreecycleYoungstown@yahoogroups.com)
- If you have supplies or need supplies such as egg cartons or coffee cans for projects, contact Sarah Ellis at re:CREATE (firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-941-2238). She matches what people have with what people need. If you have large quantities of material, contact her at the Materials Exchange Program.