Waste reduction is the idea of setting out to consume a smaller amount of natural resources or significantly lessening the amount of waste that will contribute to the landfill. A surprising amount of the material you consume can be diverted away from landfills.
Some ways to avoid landfilling waste include recycling, composting, reusing certain items, and choosing to consume a smaller amount or a more environmentally friendly form of your usual products. If you recycled, reused, and composted all the materials that fit into each of these categories, the amount of waste you generate would be slim to none! This is the concept of contributing 'zero waste'.
It all begins with one small step. Composting and smart shopping are two easy ways to begin your path to waste reduction!
Reusing items is at times better than recycling due to the amount of energy it saves. See below for lots of ideas on how to reuse certain products or items.
Wands for Wildlife
The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge had the creative idea to reuse old mascara wands to remove fly eggs and larva from the wild animals they rescue. Due to the bristles being so close together, it makes the perfect instrument to help groom these small animals.
Watch the cuteness here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enFEPuz36zU
We encourage you to round up your friends to pull your leftover mascara wands together to contribute to Wands for Wildlife!
Give Back Box
The Give Back Box program utilizes any shipping box you would normally recycle and reuses it to ship items you wish to donate! All it takes is printing out a shipping label from https://givebackbox.com/works and drop off at a UPS location or arrange for a pick up!
Lions in Sight
Lions in Sight utilizes your used glasses and gives it to someone who needs it in a developing nation. Through a no cost eye exam given by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, Lions in Sight provides the gift of sight to someone who needs it. This organization takes used eyeglasses, hearing aids, ink cartridges, and cell phones. Learn how you can help at http://www.lionsinsight.org/.
The Bra Recyclers
The Bra Recyclers accept clean and gently used bras and give them to people in need. All you need to do if fill out a form online and print the shipping label or drop it off at a location near you. Learn more at https://www.brarecycling.com/.
The Wheelchair Project
LifeNets created the program "The Wheelchair Project" to reuse gently used wheelchairs and route them to someone who needs it in the United States. By creating a listing on this site, those who are in need are able to reach out to the individual by making an account. Visit http://www.lifenetswheelchairproject.org/ords/f?p=224:1:::::: to learn more.
Soles 4 Souls
Soles 4 Soles has the mission to "wear out poverty" and repurpose your shoes to someone in need. Drop off your shoes or mail them in through https://soles4souls.org/.
Recycled Card Program
The St. Jude's Ranch for Children has a Recycled Card Program that takes the front of your recycled cards. Learn where you can mail them in at https://stjudesranch.org/recycled-card-program/?ref=pcrorganicgglunkwn&prid=pcseogglunkwn.
Play it Again Sports
Sell or trade your used sports equipment and sports gear to Play it Again Sports to reuse your items! Find the nearest location to you at www.playitagainsports.com.
Wheels For Wishes
When you donate your vehicle to Wheels for Wishes (a Make a Wish North Texas program), a tow truck will come and pick it up and you get a tax deductible for your donation! The proceeds help grant wishes to kids who are facing critical illnesses. Learn more at https://www.wheelsforwishes.org/northtexas/.
Office Interiors Group
Office Interiors Group (OIG) manages gently used out-of-date furniture or older electronics. The organization will either sell the furniture, auction off items, donate, refurbish or recycle into separate commodities to reduce our foot print as much as possible. Schedule a pick up at https://www.oig.com/electronic-recycling/.
Or you can get inspired to reuse everyday items in creative ways!Upcycling Ideas - Curated tweets by TimeToRecycle