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Terra Tips



Reduce

If each person used 2%-10% less each day it would make a dramatic impact on landfills!
  • Look for minimized packaging, check product-to-package ratio and buy the lighter weight, less complicated package. Shop in bulk, use concentrates & refillable to reduce the amount of package waste.

  • What can an item be used for after you're done with it -- resale value, hand-me-down, other adaptive reuse. Try not to buy predetermined  trash, choose products with a second life.

  • Can you lease, rent or borrow it, rather than buy it? Do you really need it? How resourceful and creative can you get?

  • Always keep a shopping bag handy;  in a briefcase,  purse, car or truck, backpack (even a used plastic bag will do) and when shopping, pull it out before your sale is completed. Let everyone know you brought your own bag.

  • Use a store bag if you can not carry the items comfortably. One item in one bag is a shameful display of waste.  

  • Reduce corporate sponsorships, consider the advantages of buying products produced in your local region.

  • Reduce your use of disposables, including nylons, take-out food containers, pens, razors, paper towels etc.

  • Use biodegradable cleaners, to lower the amount of harmful chemicals released in our environment.

  • Can it be repaired? Can it be upgraded? Does it have a good warranty? Is it well-made and sturdy? Is it classically designed? Buy quality and you will replace less often.

  • Lower your garbage can's volume, compost and recycle.

  • Examine products' energy efficiency -- look for energy-rating stickers on large appliances. Make sure "instant on" features can be turned off. Select replaceable rechargeable batteries in small appliances and use a solar charger. Consider a mechanical, human-powered model. Unplug items not in use. It may only be your toaster oven, but they add up when you consider your neighbors and his/her neighbors and etc.

  • Reduce your energy use (and bill) by using a light bulb that has higher wattage than needed. You can also save energy and money by installing more efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs and turning them off when you're not in the room.


Reuse
Most items can be used again and again or for other purposes. Get creative and save money.

  • Take your own re-usable bag with you to the supermarket.

  • Buy goods in refillable containers e.g. washing powders etc.

  • Donate rather than dump - yard sales, charity shops, etc.

  • Consider using renewable energy sources, contribute to the funds and companies that make an effort to use new/alternatvie resources from wind, water, and solar power.

  • Buy products that have been made from recycled products as often as you can.

  • Shop at second hand stores, there are deals to be found!

  • When shopping by mail, phone or online, tell them you do not want to be added to their paper mail list. Find out if they will rent or sell your name to such list. 

  • Use scrap paper as note pads. The back of envelops have lots of white space to make lists.

  • Buy used books when you can. Many of the online book sellers now have a used section.

  • Save old jars to use for glasses, zip-closed plastic baggies can be washed out and used time and again.

  • Use rechargeable batteries whenever you can.

  • Be creative and think twice before you throw something away. It may have hidden uses. 


Recycle
Remember when you say, "Just throw it away." There is no Away!

  • Recycling saves the earth's resources - every ton of recycled glass saves over a ton of raw materials and over 30 gallons of oil.
  • Recycling saves energy - recycled aluminum cans saves 95% energy required to extract natural resources and make a new one.
  • Recycling helps conserve the environment - e.g. reduces the need to mine raw materials limiting the impacts of mineral extraction on landscape.
  • Most local authorities provide collection area for recyclable materials - paper, glass, cans, textiles, plastics, cardboards, oil.
  • From newspaper, to egg cartons, to organic materials such as leaves and yard clippings, lots of things can be recycled. Even coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer for some plants.  Think before you toss it away.
  • If you buy plastic, make sure it can be recycled locally.
  • Encourage the use of recycled materials by using products that are made from recycled materials.
  • Are the product and package designed to be taken apart and readily recyclable?
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Re-useable Links

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