Source reduction: Another way to be Earth friendly

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Source Reduction simply means reducing the amount of trash you generate by thinking before you act.
We are facing the challenge of having too much trash. Most likely, you’re aware of this and are doing your part to recycle. Believe it or not, you are reducing your impact on our environment by being responsible about your trash disposal. By recycling, you are lengthening the life of our landfills, saving natural resources and conserving energy.
Now it’s time to go one step further and think about how to reduce waste in the first place by going to the source. Sounds complicated, right?
Actually, if you reach for a sponge before you go for the paper towels, you are already reducing waste at the source, or practicing what is called source reduction.
Practicing the art of source reduction is as easy as reusing your grocery bags or replacing paper napkins with cloth ones. These little changes are part of a practice called precycling. Precycling is one of the best habits a consumer can adopt as part of an effective and simple source-reduction plan.
Precycling simply means that each time you reach for an item in the grocery store, department store, fast food restaurant, or wherever, you consider how your purchase and its packaging will affect the environment.
By purchasing products with less packaging, you’ll reduce the amount of trash you create. By choosing packaging you can recycle, you’ll have even less to throw away. The more you precycle, the less trash you produce, and the less resources you consume.
Be picky about packaging. Buy products you know you can either recycle here in our community or reuse at home. Purchase minimally packaged items; avoid multilayered and unnecessary fancy packaging
Avoid disposables. Don’t buy products purposely made to be used once or only a few times and thrown away. (i.e. disposable batteries, diapers, cameras, razors). Instead invest in reusable long-lasting alternatives.
Buy in bulk. Whenever practical, purchase the largest size available. Not only will you be practicing source reduction, you will save money too. Source reduction by precycling means:

• buying products in containers you can recycle in your community, like glass, aluminum or paper.
• avoid single-serve convenience food items, like cup of soups and snack packs
• avoid plastic packaging
• keeping a reusable mug with you when you go
• bringing your own grocery bags to the store

Start today, and remember, every little bit helps!

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