Why Does It Matter?
Conversations with your grandparents or great grandparents over the holidays, may have you thinking about how much things have changed since they were kids. Certainly, our disposal habits and use of stuff is no exception. Today, the items we use are less durable, we use more and packaging has increased; which all leads us to change our habits. But, change is not always a bad thing. In fact, even though we use more stuff, our recycling rates are climbing and people are getting more creative about reusing. But, we do have to learn how to be environmentally-friendly consumers.
What Should You Do?
In the recycling hierarchy, source reduction is highest on the list of priorities. If we can stop the trash before it starts we are way ahead of the game. So, here are some suggestions on how to be a better enviro-shopper:
· When buying, look for items with little to no packaging. Do you really need your apples wrapped in cellophane?
· When possible, buy items in recyclable packaging. Cardboard; all plastic (except Styrofoam); clear, green and brown glass; steel and aluminum and paper can all be recycled in Hendricks County. Check out our Guide to Being Green at HendricksSolidWaste.com for an A-Z listing of all that can be recycled in the area.
· Shop for items that are durable rather than disposable. Yes, they are more expensive initially, but you aren’t going to have to replace them as often and you will be saving space in the landfill.
· Here’s an easy one…use all of those reusable bags you keep forgetting to take into the store. Store them in the trunk of the car or get some of the really small ones for your purse or pocket.
· Shop organic or natural whenever possible. It is better for you and better for the environment too.
If you’re already doing many of the things we’ve suggested so far, consider taking the next steps by:
· Buying nothing. Think about your planned purchases. Some of the things we buy, we don’t use often and can be shared among a group. Items like wallpaper strippers, snow-blowers, garden tillers and pressure washers are examples. This also saves on storage space…
· Voting with your dollars and buying recycled. Look for items that have been made from recycled materials and can be recycled again in order to “close the recycling loop”.
In our next edition, we will get into the nitty-gritty of comparison Enviro-shopping. We will give you the “Good”, “Better” and “Best” environmental options for many of the things you shop for every day.