The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

The Three R’s December 26, 2008

Welcome to my new page dedicated to The Three R’s:  reducing, reusing, and recycling.  I hope you find some helpful tips and interesting facts while visiting, and that you will think and act a little more carefully, even if just in small ways, to help reduce your consumption and impact on the environment.

I’m no perfect consumer, believe me, but I’ve found that making small changes and thinking more about precycling, packaging, reusing, etc., has been very positive and fulfilling.  Some things I choose to do to reduce my impact:

  • wash foil and reuse a few times then recycle (recycling foil uses only 5% of the energy used to create new foil!)
  • learn my waste handler’s SPECIFIC curbside recycling rules, and don’t give them materials they don’t want (i.e. only plastic tubs over 6 oz.; only non-wet-strength cardboard is accepted, etc.  This helps save time and energy on their part, and reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials that they must pay to throw away at their processing plants)
  • collect non-curbside recyclables to take to a recycling depot in the area (plastic bags, other plastic not accepted at the curb, light bulbs, styrofoam trays, etc.)
  • take shorter showers
  • wear clothes 2 or 3 times if they’re not soiled (exceptions being underwear and socks, of course!  Ew!)
  • scrape food debris off of dishes with as little water as possible
  • carpool (this is automatic for Chris and I since we work together)
  • buy quality items that will last long, rather than buying cheap items that need replacing sooner
  • buy earth friendly cleaners and products whenever possible, even if they cost a little more
  • buy products with less packaging whenever possible; reusable or recyclable packaging is preferrable, too
  • donate or sell usable items I don’t need anymore rather than throwing them away
  • help educate my friends, family, and coworkers about simple steps they can take to use The Three R’s
  • start a work recycling program for items not accepted by the trash provider there, and cooperate with coworkers to manage taking the bin(s) home to sort and recycle
  • reuse as many items as possible, including plastic bags, plastic containers, paper bags, paper printed on one side only
  • buy reusable shopping bags and keep them in the car so you always have them handy
  • try to avoid disposable items, but if you must buy them try to get compostable, reusable, or recyclable items if at all possible
  • make sure your recycling is CLEAN, or else it may cause a stinky hazard for workers who sort your recycling, or it may be rejected by the company who ultimately recycles it.  Foil recyclers are the pickiest, so no burnt on cheese or goop allowed on your foil!
  • don’t be afraid to pick up errant cans, pull a plastic bottle out of the trash, or do something else to make sure recyclables don’t end up getting trashed
  • ask your gym, place of worship, grocery store, or other frequented place to add recycling bins for their patrons/employees/etc.

Some websites to check out for tips and education on The Three R’s:

http://www.metro-region.org/

http://container-recycling.org/

I start my Master Recycler course on January 7, and will be starting my volunteer hours sometime in March probably.  I hope you will ask me questions, tell me how you use The Three R’s, or let me know what else you’d like to see here!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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