IMPORTANCE OF REDUCE | REUSE | RECYCLE

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH REDUCE / REUSE / RECYCLE

We all have heard the term Reduce / Reuse / Recycle but how much do we really know about the process? Every day we, the human race, send tons of trash to landfills everyday. These tons of trash cost us financially and damage the planet that we live on. By increasing the amount of things that we reuse and recycle we can change the planet and cut costs.

In this article we are going to explore some ways that you can reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to save money and save the planet. It may sound cheesy but doing your part will help everyone on the planet.

HOW TO REDUCE WASTE AND CONSUMPTION

​Waste is one of the biggest reasons that so many tons of garbage go to the landfill everyday. While some things we absolutely cannot change, there are a lot of ways that we can reduce our waste and consumption. Let’s explore this.

REUSABLE BAGS/CANVAS BAGS

Shopping bags are one of the worst things for the environment. Often times they end up in landfills or just on the side of the street where they blow all over. They get ingested by animals, killing them. The plastics can poison our waters, and so much more. Keeping at least a few reusable bags in your car can do a big part for the environment.

Some cities have already banned certain one-time use bags and others have implemented taxes to help curb people wanting to use such bags.

If you decide to continue to use the bags that are given out at the store, you should find alternative uses for them once you are done. They make good holders for trash and dog poop. Bring the ones you aren’t using for lunchboxes if you don’t have one. You could also reuse them when you go to the grocery store.
Reusable bags
An alternative to one-time use bags would be to purchase  reusable shopping bags. They can help eliminate the amount of one-time plastic bags you use. 

Bluewave Shopping Tote in extra large size is perfect for just that. The large and spacious interior allows you to put all your groceries and the durable exterior will last you a long time in the harshest environment. Not to mention, the insulated interior will keep your food cold / hot during your errands. 

Not only that, there are many other uses for the tote bag besides grocery shopping - picnic at the park or a day at the beach. The perfect companion on all our out door activities and errands, running around town.

REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES

A big waste around the world is bottled water in one-time use plastic containers. Not only do these plastic water bottles clog our trash systems, waterways, and pile up on land, they can be poisonous. Many bottled water plastic containers are made out of cheap, one-time use plastic and will leech chemicals over time or when reused. 

Instead of buying bottled water, try getting a quality reusable water bottle that you carry with you and refill. This can save you a lot of money over time and more importantly, prevent you from drinking "chemical" water.

However, don't just settle for any new water bottle brand with a story - do your research and find a reputable water bottle company that manufactures and sells high quality, reusable water bottle. Too many companies just purchase the cheapest products from random sources and slap on their brand, without any true knowledge to the quality and material to what they are selling. 
Reusable bottles cut down plastic waste
Bluewave has bottles in different sizes, colors, and quality materials
Bluewave offers a wide range of high quality, reusable water bottles. We design and manufacture many of the water bottles you see. We source the materials directly from reputable Fortune 500 companies and manufacture the products in-house - maintaining safety and quality from start to finish. Check out our product selection.

In addition, many businesses and workplaces are recognizing the importance of reusable water containers. As a result, they are installing special filters and fountains to fill bottles with clean water. This can certainly help cut down plastic bottle waste over time. 

PLAN YOUR MEALS

​One of the biggest wastes we have around the planet is food. Many people don’t even think about leftovers or scraps as being waste but they are. Cutting back on any food that we throw away can help us save money. To manage your food, try planning your meals. By planning meals you know what food you need, what spices/herbs you need, and what you don’t.
plan your meals
Plan out your meals to save money and food
​Start by planning out your meals a week in advance and preparing that food two to three times a week so that everything is made. You will notice that you have far less scraps right away. You will also notice that you don’t have leftovers.

UTILIZE LOCAL FOOD WASTE COMPANIES OR YARD WASTE

Big cities have had combined yard waste/food waste bins for composting for years now but smaller cities are just starting to get these resources. Utilizing them will help reduce the impact on the planet that you have and will put your food scraps to good use.

Not every city has a city run/sponsored food waste program. If you live in a city that doesn’t, why not try one of the many private companies that offer these services. A private company prevents you from having to make your own compost system and most of the hard work is done for you.

You can also cut down on money and compost on your own. Composting isn’t that difficult, it just takes a bit of time out of your day. The biggest cost is setting the system up, then your only cost is your time and occasionally maintenance. Your composting efforts can be turned into fertilizer for your garden and sometimes even be sold if you turn around enough compost. Some neighborhoods have even developed a neighborhood compost so that everyone contributes to the work needed.

ELIMINATE AS MUCH JUNK MAIL AS POSSIBLE

Junk mail waste resources
Junk mail is a waste of resources
Junk mail is actually a big source of waste. Most of us get junk mail everyday, items like credit card solicitations. Calling these companies or visiting their websites can help you to cut back on the amount of junk mail that you get. A number of online services can also be used to cut back on the junk you get in the mail, these services will contact solicitors for you and save you time.

INSTALL LOW FLOW FAUCETS, REDUCE SHOWER TIMES

​Basking in the shower may give you a great feeling but it actually is wasting a fair amount of water. By cutting your showers down to shorter periods, you are saving water and money. How much of the time in the shower do you actually need? Chances are you could cut back by a minute or two. Some people can cut back by much more than that.
cut down shower time save water
Cut back a minute or two of showering can save gallons of water
Low flow faucets restrict the amount of water that is capable of coming out of a tap or shower and while you might have reduced pressure, you can use them to save water. These restrictors can be bought at any hardware store and are very easy to install.

Another great way that you can save water is to turn off the sink when you brush your teeth. You brush your teeth for anywhere from 2-3 minutes and a majority of us leave the water on while we do it. Simply shutting off the water can save you 2-3 minutes of water free flowing from the sink and not being used.

REUSING ITEMS AROUND THE HOME

​Not every item that we throw out every day needs to be thrown out. A lot of things that we put in the trash can be reused or given to others. Reuse, whether by us or others, will help reduce the amount of trash that we output everyday.

JARS AND GLASS CONTAINERS

​Jars and other glass containers can be great for reuse. Holding foods and ingredients in these jars will keep them sealed and ready for your use. Here are some uses for these glass containers:
  • Storage Containers for Food
  • Storage Containers for Coins
  • Vases
  • Candle Holders
  • Decorations
  • Craft Accessories
  • Herb & Spice Jars
Reuse glass bottles
Store food in glass jars
​If you won’t use glass containers yourself you can always donate or give them away. Many people will pick these containers up from donation centers to use them for the purposes above. They allow those who don’t have as much to have storage containers they don’t have to spend a lot of money on.

NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, AND OTHER JUNK PAPERS

​We accumulate a lot of paper through our daily lives, a lot of it we end up recycling but a good portion still gets thrown out. We can reuse a lot of this material for various purposes. This is especially true for some applications where we would buy a product to use when we already have items we could reuse.
What can we reuse newspaper, magazines, and other junk papers for? Here’s a list:

  • Scrap Paper
  • Kindling
  • Creative Projects (Woven baskets, paper mache, collaging)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Homemade Envelopes
recycle old newspapers
Reuse or recycle your old newspaper

DRYER SHEETS

This one may come as a big surprise to a lot of people but those dryer sheets you use for your laundry? They are a very reusable item. After you have used them for a load of laundry they are static charged and make a great cleaning rag. You can wipe up pet hair (or human hair) with ease.

Why not use them to clean the floor or scrub the counter too? Why would you throw away such an item before you have had the chance to use it fully?

THINK CREATIVELY

think creatively how to recycle reuse reduce
This bullet point could actually go under any of the lists here because reduce, reuse, recycle, is all about being creative. Take a look at all of the different things that use, eat, and buy. Consider what they were designed to be used for then look around your home to try and come up with creative uses for them.

We challenge you to try and find something in your home, anything, that doesn’t have at least one other use around the home. Imagination and creativity are a powerful thing, especially when it comes to saving money.

RECYCLING BENEFITS & HOW YOU CAN RECYCLE

​While reusing is always the best option, if you can’t reuse/compost an item, it should be recycled. Why? Because the process of recycling allows at least some of the materials to be reused. During the process of recycling, items are broken down then the materials are reused. 
teach others about recycling
Many different items can be recycled. Typically the following can be placed in a recycling bin:

  • Certain Numbered Plastics
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Cartons (ie egg containers)
  • Bubble Wrap
​How you can recycle really depends on where you live. In many locations you will have two pickup options. One option will be a trash bin and the other will be a recycling bin. Because of how helpful recycling can be for the environment many cities want to support the citizen’s effort to participate.

Not every town and city runs a recycling pickup. For some that don’t, you can take your recyclables down to the local garbage facility, where you can drop them off to be recycled.

There are some cities that have no type of recycling. What you want to do in this case is look to see if there is a privatized recycling service that you can use. Privatized recycling services will typically charge you more than a city would but they offer you a way to do more for your planet.
Final Thought

​Take the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle to heart and do more with your trash. The idea that everything you no longer use, or everything that has served its original purpose, is trash, is a lie. Almost everything that can be used once can be used again. For the things that can’t, they can often be recycled so that they can be remade into something else. Reducing the amount of stuff that you buy and use will help to cut back on your footprint, reusing takes that a step further, and recycling helps to prevent things from going to the trash. Take a  step to reduce your footprint, better the planet, and save yourself some money.

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