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Reduce, Reuse or Recycle? Which do you do the most?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was looking at my stack of recycling and pondering if I could reuse any of it, and it occurred to me that I do way more recycling than reusing. I have reduced a fair amount, but still seen to recycle the most. What is your family doing?
post #2 of 9

Reduce.  We buy less.  If I simply have to buy something in a plastic bottle, I try to find one that looks like something I could use for a craft project when it's empty, which is reusing of course.  Mostly, though, I just buy less.  My next step is to find core-less toilet paper!


Ask the grocery store to sell you some zucchini NOT resting on a foam tray.  Make your own mayo instead of buying a jar of it.  Thing like that are how I bring less into the house.


WRT to recycling, if I have a choice of a plastic container or glass, say for some jam, I will pay a bit more for glass (assuming they're both a "healthy" brand) because glass can be recycled endlessly and plastic can not.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes, I make all our jam/preserves/applesauce so we have canning jars for those. So in that way I'm reusing.

The recycling gets me. The amount of paper is incredible. And we don't even get a newspaper.
post #4 of 9

Reduce, by a long shot.  


Like blessedwithboys, I simply bring home less of everything, less packaging, fewer boxes, less, less, less.  I refuse to buy most stuff simply because I am too overwhelmed and maybe a bit lazy as well to handle most of the crap that comes into an average American household.  


I reuse jars when I can, recycle the bits I don't.  But really, I think my biggest effort is in leaving most stuff at the store.  


That said, my kids dig a massive recycling pile for art projects.  They often nip away to the neighbors to steal stuff from their recycling bins.  

post #5 of 9

We focus on "reduce;" we feel this is the best way to address environmental and financial stresses. A few times a year I reassess our consumption and waste generation and make a few changes that permanently solve certain household issues (laundry, cleaning, food, transportation, entertainment etc.) We also reuse and recycle, but reduce is far more important to us.

post #6 of 9

"Refuse" comes first: refuse to be part of the problem.  Too much paper? If from catalogs, put your name on the do not mail list (write to Direct Marketing Association). If from office, be mindful and move toward paperless office?

Re-think. Reduce. Repair. Re-use. And then, if you really can't think of anything else, recycle.


Try this trick: go for plastic free.

Not easy, I know (I'm still trying). But you will cut down, in one fell swoop, of your recycling volume and your regular garbage volume (this one baffles me, but it's true). You will also get away from all the nasty chemicals involved in making plastic.


Good luck, it's a long road. But the farther we get down that road, the better for us and the planet.

post #7 of 9

I'm a big fan of taking a look at what's in your bin (trash or recycling) and keeping track of where it's coming from. You said there's a lot of paper -- what kinds of paper? Is it from work/school? Or junk mail? The tactic you take to prevent the waste in the first place depends on where it's coming from.


Personally, the more I buy unpackaged foods, the less recycling I have. And the healthier I am :)

post #8 of 9

I try to make as many household products that I reasonably can. I make my own bar soap, laundry soap, toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, lip balm, bug repellant, etc., and I use recycled packaging, when possible. I make my own herbal tinctures, and so far I didn't need to buy bottles, because I reuse the ones I got with bought ones. I keep jars with wide mouths, because I always seem to need them for my made stuff. I even asked my friend to keep me empty glass lotion jars and atomizer bottles.

   I guess in my case, it is not reduce or reuse or recycle, but "make your own". Of course, I still recycle lots. Recently I started making my own chocolates, so that will save me from recycling those plastic tubs from Tr. Joe's, that I used to buy with them.

post #9 of 9

It all depends on the the things if possible I reuse it and if not then I go for recycling, but I prefer to buy less as if you have more than you want then it becomes hard to handle. Whenever I bring anything in bottles or cane then I use bottles for keeping any grains and for cane use it for plantation in my garden.

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