Use your resources. Use them again.
Recycling helps the environment by reducing the amount of virgin material extracted from the earth and by decreasing the amount of energy used to process and manufacture new products.
A variety of materials can be recycled, including paper, common plastics, glass, building materials, and even polystyrene foam. Food and organic waste are also valuable recyclable resources that can be turned into fertile organic soil additives through composting. Taking time to recognize future life left in the materials of common products, separating them, and recycling them is essential to the goal of being sensible environmental stewards.
Reducing the overall amount of material that filters into landfills requires diligent waste management in various aspects of the procurement, life, and disposal phases of products.
Identify and promote the recycling program available in your business or community. Ensure that your materials are being recycled.
If discarded in landfills, food waste can emit harmful gases into the environment. Food materials can actually be collected onsite and turned into useful nutrient matter for soil. Composting can be an acceptable alternative that has promising implications for waste management both at home and in industry.
Limit purchases to necessary products. If you can eliminate purchasing them in the first place, then you keep those products from reaching the landfill and eliminate packaging materials, purchasing costs, transportation-related emissions, and resulting health effects.
Purchase environmentally preferable products. Products made from recycled content can promote a "closed loop" system.
Purchase products whose manufacturer will take them back at the end of their life cycle. Manufacturers are able to reuse components of many products, thus eliminating these products from the landfill as well as the need to expend energy on procurement and extraction of materials and formation of new products.
- Extend Lifetime
Consider using products to the full extent of their useful life. Delaying upgrades can save costs and save materials from entering landfills over time. Consider purchasing refurbished equipment, which offers the same benefits.
Share materials and equipment with colleagues. Contact others in your field when you need equipment; you may be able to trade or borrow. Also, some products can be repurposed. For example, consider reusing a stand for a new banner rather than purchasing an entire new set.
Waste Management and Recycling Tips
- Limit purchases to necessary products
- Purchase environmentally preferable products
- Consider using products to the full extent of their useful life
- Share materials and equipment with coworkers and friends
- Identify and promote recycling programs at work and in your community