10 Tips to Reduce Your Household Carbon Footprint – and Recycle More!
- Recycling is good but reducing and reusing are better than recycling. Ask yourself if you really want/need it and can get by without it. Then ask yourself if you buy it, can you reuse the package it came in? Once you’ve reduced and reused as much as you can, contribute to a happier, healthier planet by making purchasing decisions that include recyclable containers.
- Successful recycling depends on stable markets for recycling commodities. When you can, make purchasing decisions based on packaging and products containing recycled materials. ‘Made with recycled materials’ is usually marked on the package.
- Choose products with minimal packaging.
- Use both sides of computer and writing paper. Better yet, don’t print documents unless you have to have a hard copy. Try to read and store more documents electronically, online, but don’t forget to use a built in or external backup system.
- Rinsing recyclables helps control odour. Save water by rinsing recyclables in soapy water after you’ve done the dishes.
- Give your favourite magazines a second life by donating them to the local hospital’s visitor waiting room, the recreation centre or an elementary school where students can use colourful pages for projects.
- Cut down on plastic bags. Keep a clean plastic bag in your pocket for small purchases or have a few reusable tote bags handy in the car for groceries and other purchases.
- It’s been proven that when people run out of space in their recycling containers, they start throwing recyclables away. Simply add another container or two to ensure you are maximizing your recycling effort. Laundry baskets stand in well as emergency recycling baskets.
- Small things add up. Bottle tops and jar caps are recyclable. Instead of throwing them in the trash, set a small container like an ice cream tub under the kitchen sink and throw the caps and tops in there. On recycling day simply empty the tub into your recycling container.
- Lots of people do a great job of collecting recyclables from the kitchen but forget that the bathroom can generate a lot of recyclable containers, too. Place a small recycling bin in the bathroom next to the trash bin to encourage family members to recycle instead of discarding empty containers.