Waste reduction starts at home. We can all help by buying only what we really need. While at the market bring your own bags and containers. Buy bulk items. Look for items that have minimal or or simple, easily recyclable packaging. Buy products that can be reused. Reduce paper waste by cancelling junk mail.
A couple times a year ZWV and the Tool Library sponsor Vashon Fix-It Cafés. This is a great way to get broken items repaired so that they can continue to provide good service and stay out of the landfill.
Single use plastics have become ubiquitous in just a generation. They are marvelous for cheap and versatile packaging solutions, but now present an extremely serious environmental problem. The problem is that although their service life may be as short as a few minute, they last forever. The amount of plastic waste on the planet would cover Argentina knee deep! Waste plastic is choking our oceans and rivers. It is killing sea animals that mistake it for food. This brings up a fourth R – Refuse. Try to avoid single-use plastics by not purchasing them in the first place. Use a cup or water container instead of buying water in plastic and be sure to recycle the bottle if you do get one. Skip using a straw or bring your own. Bring your own container for coffee and for leftovers when eating out. Use cloth bags for groceries. For more information and great tips check out this website – Less Plastics.
A good website to visit for action plans on how to reduce plastics in America is at Beyond Plastics. We can’t recycle our way out of the plastics problem. This site has suggestions on how to take action to address this overwhelming issue.
“Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build a vibrant and effective anti-plastics movement.”