I like to repurpose items as much as I can. Not only does this help me to save money, but it also has the potential to save the energy expended by processing plants, trucks that move the material, and the like.
Composting is another good way to go. It reduces your impact on the landfill while providing an excellent source of fertilizer for your garden. If you city does not already have a composting program or a green waste pick up program, there are several sources online that are good guides to get you started.
As mentioned by another respondent, repurposing or reusing items instead of sending them to a recycling processing plant will reduce the amount of emissions created through transporting and processing recyclables. For example, I’ve gotten into the habit of using jars that once held spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, etc. as containers for bulk foods that I buy, such as flour, oatmeal, sugar, and spices. It keeps my shelves better organized than having a bunch of paper bags full of these items, and prevents the glass from going through the energy-using process of being recycled at a plant.
It’s extra important to recycle things like electronics. Unlike a glass jar, old tvs and cell phones will not only fill up landfills, but will release hazardous chemicals. The link will help you find electronic recycling centers in your area.
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