Landfills are loaded up with waste, poisoning the water and oceans, and it's gross. What can you do to make a difference? A lot! You all know the importance of recycling, but recycling is only part of the solution. For the next 3 Thursdays, I'm going to give you tips for how you can REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE!
Think about the fresh, new things you buy or use every day. There might be ways you can reduce or use fewer of these things so less garbage ends up in the landfill.
How to reduce: Don't be so messy! Just kidding, although that might help if you are a real slob. But seriously, you can use cloth ones that you don't throw away. You just toss them in the wash when they get dirty. (I'll tell you how to make your own in next week's Reuse post.)
How to reduce: OK, I understand this is a necessity of life, but um . . . maybe you can use a little bit less. We'll say no more about that. Moving on . . .
Cell Phone/Computer/Electronic Devices
How to reduce: I know like every six months there is some new and improved gadget that you just have to have, but electronic waste is growing into a HUGE problem. The greenest choice is to use your phone/computer/camera/iPod/whatever for as long as possible before you get a new one. My phone is 5 years old –it is not cool looking, but I'm proud to keep it out of a landfill!
How to reduce: Same thing with clothes. Having the latest new clothes all the time is not environmentally friendly. Keep your clothes for as long as possible before you buy new ones. (I'll talk next week about how to add new style to your old clothes.) Another way to reduce is to wear used clothes. Hand-me-downs and used clothing stores can be fun. Or do a clothes swap with your friends, and you can feel good knowing that you are reducing the amount of garbage in landfills!
How to reduce: You know those individual size foods that get put in your lunchbox? Have you ever thought about all the trash you throw away at lunchtime? You can reduce that! Instead of plastic baggies, you can find plastic-lined reusable bags that can be washed. Instead of apple sauce in a plastic container, bring a whole apple. Instead of packaged cookies, bake your own treats. Instead of single serving plastic yogurt cups, you can spoon yogurt from a large container into a small tupperware. Think thermos. Make it your goal to go waste-free like Moderator Elise on the Save the Planet Board.
These are just a few ways to REDUCE, but there are thousands more ways to reduce the amount of stuff you buy and throw away. What are YOUR ideas? Let us know in the Comments. And come back next Thursday for Part 2: REUSE!