Refusing single-use plastics:
- Say no to single-use plastic. Refuse plastic bags at the store when you have your
own bag, take-out cutlery when you have cutlery at home, individually-wrapped produce
when there is loose produce available, or free samples of things you never wanted
in the first place. Your refusal not only eliminates waste, it also lowers demand,
which tells suppliers to produce less.
- Many plastic containers are made with the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which may have
human health effects. Watch "The Story of Bottled Water" if you are interested in learning more about the impact of plastic water bottles
on our environment and our health.
- Exciting news: If EDCO is your waste hauler, curbside composting is here! Learn more
about curbside composting and see if this service is available in your area.
Moving to electronic processes:
- Reduce: Go paperless by using electronic communications, filing systems, and online
documents. If you must print, use double-sided printer default settings.
Rechargeable batteries and recycling NiMH batteries:
- Nickel Metal Hydride, or NiMH (AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt) batteries contain heavy
metals and corrosive materials that when improperly disposed of are bad news for the
environment and our health. "Rechargeable batteries have 28 times less impact on global
warming, 30 times less impact on air pollution, 9 times less impact on air acidification,
and 12 times less impact on water pollution!"
- Consider using rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries. Learn about the benefits of rechargeable batteries and learn how to safely recycle or dispose of batteries.
Purchasing items manufactured from recycled materials and recycling via curbside collection
or drop-off sites:
- Recycle: Listed last because there are so many alternatives before adding to the waste
stream, even if to the recycling system. "Collecting materials is only the first step
toward making the recycling process work. Successful recycling also depends on manufacturers
making products from recovered materials and, in turn, consumers purchasing products
made of recycled materials. Do your part--"close the loop" and buy products made of
recycled materials whenever possible."
- Visit Cal Recycle to see where to recycle batteries, beverage containers, sharps, organic materials,
used oil and filters, waste tires, e-waste, paint, mattresses, and carpet AND donate
Post-consumer recycled content:
- Save the Trees: "As trees grow, they help mitigate climate change by removing carbon
dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into
the atmosphere. Trees provide many benefits to us, every day. They offer cooling shade,
block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil
erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities."
The Arbor Day Foundation describes the importance of trees to us and the planet.
- The manufacture of recycled paper uses less raw materials (wood pulp) energy and water
and produces lower carbon emissions than the manufacture of non-recycled paper while
reducing the amount of waste going to the landfill – as paper can be recycled 4 to
5 times. With advances in technology and processes, recycled paper is now as white and has the same print performance as non-recycled