Practice the three R’s: reduce how much you use, reuse what you can and recycle the rest.
You can reduce your environmental impact by being mindful of your purchases. Buy reusable items rather than disposable ones. Buy and use only what you need. Steer away from plastic—it doesn’t biodegrade. Look for products with less packaging.
Give new life to old things. Repair items rather than buying new ones. Use refillable water bottles. Purchase reusable cups and dishes and use cloth napkins or towels. Purchase refillable pens and pencils. Give items a second home by shopping at thrift stores or yard sales. Donate items you no longer need to people you know or to a local charity. Take used and surplus building supplies, sinks, fixtures, and appliances to one of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore home improvement thrift stores.
Did you know that sixty-five percent of the material in the Salt Lake County landfill could have been recycled? Take advantage of local curbside recycling programs to recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard and aluminum cans. You can also compost your food scraps or place them in yard waste recycling cans.
Commit to recycling by participating in recycling programs in your area—contact your local solid waste management district for more information. Start a recycling program at your workplace and encourage others to participate. If you don’t have a curbside recycling program in your community, you can find a recycler near you by visiting the Recycling Coalition of Utah website.
Residents of Salt Lake County can take Mayor Ben McAdam’s challenge to Start a New Cycle -Recycle, a county program to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and increase the amount that Salt Lake County residents recycle by 20 percent by September 2015.Urge your county or community to take a similar challenge to increase recycling.
Buy recycled materials whenever possible to support the market for recycled goods.
A do-it-yourselfer? You can recycle your used oil at certified Used Oil Collection Centers across the state.