Reduce, reuse, and recycle is a mantra heard time and time again. Yet, not everyone follows it (remember that they are in that order for a reason: reduce what you consume in the first place, then reuse what you can, and recycle the rest). It can be easy though. When you do buy stuff (remember that you should try not to buy things – reduce) buy recycled because there are a ton of reasons from energy consumption to sending a message. Over at Grist they compiled a compendium of reasons to buy recycled.
Still, I’d encourage you to continue buying the 100-percent recycled stuff if you can — for foil as well as any other product — for so many reasons. Recycled content saves natural resources, so we can mine fewer metals, cut down fewer trees, and tap less petroleum. It uses less energy to produce, sometimes dramatically so; recycled aluminum can be whipped up with 95 percent less power than virgin aluminum. Recycled material slashes pollution and saves water, too. And let’s not forget it prevents our consumer castoffs from languishing away in a landfill.
It was recently found out that Canadians waste a lot of food, 51% of which is wasted inside the home. This means that there are ways that each individual can make a difference! The CBC has a tip sheet on what you can do at home to ensure you don’t throw out perfectly good food.
4. Don’t assume you need to buy in bulk
Grocery chains like Costco and Sam’s Club have enjoyed great success by convincing consumers that they will save money if they buy in mass quantities. But some experts warn against this purchasing strategy.
“People buy in bulk to make an effort to save money, but what they’re not realizing is that if they buy more than they need and throw away food that’s rotten, they haven’t saved money. They’ve actually wasted food and wasted money,” says Rosenbloom of Words to Eat By
Read more ways to reduce waste at the CBC.
Eight ways to be more environmentally friendly with your paper use.
4. Print Double-Sided
Computer paper has two sides; how many are you printing on? If you have a laser printer at home, you can change the setting to double-sided printing and copying. Otherwise, consider printing documents one page at a time and printing the second page on the back of the first. It may take you more time, but you’ll also have less paper to buy.
7. Make Paper Bag Book Covers
With more cities placing restrictions on the use of plastic bags, paper bags may be your packaging of choice. Well, these bags have many reuse options to keep them out of the trash, including covering your hardcover books. This also protects your books from damage and food stains. Plus, once you’re done with the cover you can still recycle the bag with the rest of your paper.