Waste, and how we choose to handle it, affects our environment. By choosing to (you guessed it) reduce, reuse and recycle, you can eliminate waste and protect our environment. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate the 3 R’s into your lifestyle, which includes how you can recycle common items, use reusable alternatives to disposable products and some of the basics that you’d be surprised aren’t that well known.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles – Why not use a reusable, plastic water bottle you ask? Great question! Stainless steel is made out of natural elements to start with, and it can be easily recycled into new products when the time comes. Though plastic bottles are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled, both creating and recycling plastic is less eco-friendly than stainless steel production and recycling.
Fabric Gift Wrap: A Unique Wrapping Alternative – One beautiful and sustainable alternative to traditional wrapping paper is fabric gift wrap. This unique gift wrap idea is reusable for many years and can be very affordable.
Reusable Shopping Bags – Using reusable shopping bags is a popular recommendation for green living. Whether you buy them or make them, just remember to keep them in the trunk of your car and take them with you when you shop!
Make Yarn (Plarn) from Plastic bags – Ever find yourself with an ungodly amount of plastic bags that you’re not sure what to do with? Recycling these uses a lot of resources, but you can have fun upcycling them into a bag, mat or purse instead! There are a lot of great “how to” videos on YouTube to help you get started!
Reuse your old car tires - Did you recently purchase new tires or plan on doing so in the near future? Keep your old tires out of the dump by upcycling them into numerous unique indoor or outdoor projects for your home and garden. For example, you could paint your old tires and turn them in to a small table. Or perhaps your fur baby needs a new bed? Old tires can be made into a small dog or cat bed. Again, there are lots of resources out there to help you get started – specifically Pinterest and YouTube.
Recycle your electronics – E-waste accounts for a tremendous amount of landfill real estate these days. But computers, cell phones and other electronics can be recycled easily for their materials. Always try considering how your old technology can be used – a local school, community center or church may be able to put these items to good use. If you’re upgrading your cell phone, you can always check with your cell phone provider or local electronics store and see if they have a “buy- back” program. After all, the extra cash wouldn’t hurt, would it?
Know what common household items you can and can’t recycle – You’ll need to check with your local recycling service to see what they do and don’t recycle, but below is a list of the most common household items that CAN be recycled:
- Junk Mail and Cards
- Shredded Paper
- Disposable plates and cups – just make sure they are free of food and liquids
- Flattened cardboard and paperboard
- All empty tin, aluminum and steel cans
- Newspaper and magazines
Your credit union is also here to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Sign up for eStatements & eNotices today to help eliminate paper waste. Instead of receiving a paper statement or periodic notice in the mail, you will receive an electronic version of your regular credit union statement. What are you waiting for? Not only will this save resources, but they are faster and more secure. Visit www.sandia.org/estatements to learn more and sign up for eStatements today!
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