Thursday, April 26, 2012

The 3Rs: Reusing

Reusing - What You Can Do:

• Reuse keeps goods and materials out of the waste stream.
• Reuse creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling.
• Reuse results in less hazardous waste.
• Reuse saves money in purchases and disposal costs.

1. Go through your house for things you no longer want, use, or love, but which is still in usable condition. You could either donate them to a good cause, or put them up for sale at a garage sale, flea market or car boot sale.
2. Many charitable organisations like the SPCA, MNS and YMCA may want reusable items for their jumble sales to raise funds for their projects. Other welfare homes will need clothes, household appliances and other items suited to the needs and ages of the people they provide shelter for. The Malaysian Red Crescent Society may want clean, usable clothes for disaster victims and displaced families. Your local café, family clinic or hair salon may welcome your old magazines and comic books, and your local library or community centre may have a need for your old books. Give these organisations a call and see if they have storage facilities for the items you would like to contribute.

3. Shop wisely to save resources. Can the container be easily recycled or reused? Will a larger container reduce the amount of packaging and perhaps cost less per serving? Is everything that can be recycled being recycled?

4. Find a use for an existing item - like decorating a paper bag and using it as a gift bag instead of buying wrapping paper; putting leftovers into a clean container from some other food; turning a used box into storage; saving desiccant / silica gel packets from vitamin bottles to use as closet dehumidifiers, decorating a can to hold pencils; saving packing peanuts and boxes and using them the next time you need to ship something or give a gift.

5. Instead of buying these items new, save and reuse all: bags (plastic and paper), rubber bands, twist ties, boxes, and packaging material. 6. Create and use note pads from once-used paper and leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board.

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