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The somber facts about Recycling. 
Please click yellow button above to have a listen to this 24-minute news story on NPR.org and learn the truth about why it doesn't make sense economically, and even environmentally to recycle plastic. 

Tips for
environmentally-friendly shopping 

Bring your own bags to the supermarket/cafe/restaurant to carry your shopping and takeout items home. 

When buying refrigerated or frozen goods, bring a soft sided cooler to transport your items home. 

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Eggs: when given the choice, buy packaged in a compostable paper carton (not a plastic one).

Tips for environmentally-friendly days

Use a reusable coffee/tea cup

Do not use single-use cups and lids.

Use a reusable water bottle.  Do not buy single-use plastic water bottles.

Carry your own cutlery.  Bilions of plastic forks, knives and spoons are thrown away each year. 

Use biodegradeable dog poop and kitty litter disposal baggies

Buy your milk in glass bottles instead of waxed cartons with plastic cap.  Most stores offer a refund for returning them.   If your store does not carry it, ask the manager to. Stores are happy to hear suggestions from their customers!

When possible, buy bulk.  Outfit your kitchen with some simple glass jars for storing these foods.  Avoid buying individually packaged goods.  All of this packaging ends up as waste.  It does not magically dissapear. 

Read clothing labels: only cotton, linen, wool and natural materials are eco-friendly.  Fleece is a made of polyester, both of these are fancy words for plastic. Plastic might not be your first thought when you're cuddling up in a warm fleece, but that's exactly what polyester is. It's the same material that's used to make plastic bottles, and it's used in a lot of clothes.

Mending, darning, patching and more: notice a hole or wear in your clothes?  Repair using time-tested techniques! See here one fun website with inspirational ideal and supplies. 

Shoes looking worn?  Visit your local cobbler.   New soles, heels, polishing, upgrading insoles etc.  Good quality items can last a lifetime with proper care. 

Use a stapleless stapler

Compost.  Use your own kitchen counter or backyard composter, or compost bins provided by your town or city.

 

A simple small bucket or compostable bag in your kitchen to hold all your food scraps will eliminate the need to use plastic bags to line your trash bin

 

Food packaging and other dry waste can go directly into your home trash bin, then be emptied into a building, home or town trash receptacle.  No plastic bag to line trash bin is needed.

 

Use your in-sink garbage disposal.  Feed carrot tops and other greens you aren't planning to eat to your local animals. Do not throw food in the garbage. 

New for NYC residents: there are now over 200 Smart Composting Bins, orange in color and sealed, located on the streets of NYC! Read more here and do your share.  Not in New York? Reach out to your local Department of Sanitation to get an update about how to compost in your community!  

Turn off your engine if you are idling more than 10 seconds.  Choose walking, bicycling, using a kick scooter, or public transportation whenever possible over driving. 

Environmentally-friendly home 

Clean your home using cotton rags.  Simply use, wash and use again.  Do not use paper towels. Think of how our ancestors homes were cleaned. 

Use a drying rack whenever possible.  Use dryer only when absolutely necessary.

Use only powder and soap detergents. Do not buy laundry detergent in plastic bottles. 

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Plastic spray and squeeze bottles can be used for years.  Consider refilling with concentrated soap and cleaners, just mix with water. 

Use compostable paper tape

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Use bamboo toilet paper, unbleached.  The fluffier and whiter and more scented toilet paper is, the more chemicals it's likely to contain.   Recycled papers, while sounding like a good idea, likely contain PFSAS "forever chemicals" unintentionally picked up during the manufacturing process.  

Compost.  Use your own kitchen counter composter,  backyard composter , or compost bins provided by your town or city.  NYC residents click here to view drop-off sites. 

A simple bucket or compostable bag in your kitchen to hold all your food scraps will eliminate the need to use plastic bags to line your trash bin. 

 
Food packaging and other dry waste can go directly into your home trash bin , and then be emptied into building, home or town trash receptacle.  

Use your in-sink garbage disposal.  Feed carrot tops and other greens you aren't planning to eat to your local animals. Do not throw food in the garbage.  Just 1kg of food waste produces carbon emissions equivalent to landfilling 25,000 plastic bottles. Source: Zero Waste Scotland

Environmentally-friendly neighborhood

Are your favorite restaurants using environmentally-friendly packaging for take-out like compostable paper or aluminum containers?   If not, gently encourage them to.

When ordering, say no to plastic cutlery , and individually packaged condiments.

 

If food is delivered in plastic bags, whenever possible, take only the food.  If picking up, bring your own bags. 

Carry your own cutlery.  Did you know, this used to be commonplace? Read more here.

Boasting a pesticide-free lawn? Consider sharing the good news via signage!  See one example here.  Read more about why this is important here

Turn off your engine if you are idling more than 10 seconds.  Choose walking, bicycling, using a kick scooter, or public transportation whenever possible over driving.