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It’s Easy Being Green: Simple Reduce - Reuse - Recycle Practices Information provided by Hands. On Twin Cities and Rethink. Recycling. com
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle • Currently each person in the Twin Cities metro area generates almost 7 pounds of waste each day, collectively that’s enough to fill the Metrodome 11 times every year! • Where does our garbage go? 40% of our garbage is recycled. 32% is processed at waste-to-energy facilities into electricity or burned for fuel. 26% is landfilled in Minnesota and other states. 2% must be specially managed because of its hazardous or toxic content.
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle • Every year each household gets over 39 pounds of unwanted, unsolicited mail. • Recycling is an important component to managing our waste problem, but alone, it is not enough. • Nearly 30% of our trash is packaging. Much of it is cardboard that can be reused or recycled. • About one-third of what we throw away at home is recyclable through curbside programs. • Our recycling rate in Minnesota has not significantly increased since 1998.
Why Do Your Part? Reducing, reusing, recycling: • • Saves natural resources Saves you money Less trash going into landfills Good for the planet!
True or False • Nearly 1 billion credit card solicitations are sent to consumers every year. False, 3 billion! • Buying items in bulk (large amount) reduces trash. True, less packaging thrown away • Yogurt cups and pizza boxes are recyclable. False, not currently accepted with curbside recycling • It is against state law for haulers to pick up recyclables and not recycle them. True, what you put out for recycling is recycled
REDUCE • Reduce junk mail • Use less plastic • Buy smart
Reduce Junk Mail Is there an unwanted mail problem in the U. S. ? ! Let’s look at the numbers… Shipped: 5. 89 tons Recycled: 2. 28 tons Garbage: 3. 61 tons Start small Credit cards – www. optoutprescreen. com Advertising mail - www. dmachoice. org Manage your mail Sort – Shred - Recycle
Use Less Plastics can take up to 700 years to start to break down in landfills. • Use cloth bags for shopping (reuse or recycle plastic bags – www. itsinthebagmn. org) • Use reusable beverage bottle • Use silverware instead of plasticware
Buy Smart 30% of trash is packaging. Tips to buy smart: • Look for less packaging • Buy bulk whenever possible • Buy recycled products “Post-consumer” means material has been used by consumers or businesses and collected in a recycling program.
Product Package Comparisons
Product Package Comparisons for Equal Servings Yogurt Bulk: $3. 09 Pre-packaged: $4. 00 Cost Difference: $. 91 Applesauce Bulk: $2. 63 Pre-packaged: $4. 86 Cost Difference: $2. 23
Product Package Comparisons for Equal Servings Hot Cocoa Bulk: $2. 99 Pre-packaged: $3. 96 Cost Difference: $. 97 Popcorn Bulk: $1. 29 Pre-packaged: $4. 77 Cost Difference: $3. 48
Product Package Comparisons for Equal Servings Oreos Bulk: $2. 88 Pre-packaged: $7. 47 Cost Difference: $4. 59 Minute Maid Bulk: $1. 50 Pre-packaged: $3. 49 Cost Difference: $1. 99
Product Package Comparisons for Equal Servings Bulk Items Total: $14. 38 Pre-Packaged Total: $28. 55 Difference in Cost: $14. 17
REUSE • Shop used • Greening your events • Creative ways to reuse
Shop Used In Hennepin County, 32 million pounds of usable clothing & household goods is thrown away every year. • Borrow, rent or shop used first. • Shop thrift stores, garage sales. • Donate your unwanted items so others can shop used.
Greening Your Events Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day household waste increases more than 25%. • Send invites through email or make your own • Use reusable tableware: dishes, silverware, napkins. • Buy snacks in bulk when possible. • Determine if you want to give gifts.
Creative Ways to Reuse If we all wrap 3 gifts each year in reused paper, we’d save enough paper to cover 45, 000 football fields. Look around your home for materials that can be used as an alternative to wrapping paper: – – – Fabric Newspaper Stickers, ribbon Silk flowers Etc!!
Creative Ways to Reuse
Creative Ways to Reuse
Creative Ways to Reuse • • • Jar = vase Old sweater or t-shirt = pillow Basket or wooden box = plant container Plastic food containers = storage Other ideas?
RECYCLE • Basic recycling • Increase recycling • Paper
Basic Recycling About one third of what is thrown away can be recycled. Twin City area recyclers accept paper, metal, glass, plastic. Check with your county to learn more about recycling. Preparation Tips: – – Remove all caps, lids and pumps Give a good rinse Okay to leave on labels Do not put recyclables in plastic bags (use bins or paper bags)
Increase Recycling I already recycle cans, bottles and newspapers, what else can I recycle? Metal/Aluminum/Steel Glass Plastic Paper
Paper About 21% of Minnesota’s garbage is recyclable paper. • Mail, office and school papers • Magazines and catalogs • Newspapers and inserts • Phone books • Shredded paper in closed paper bags • Cardboard boxes • Cereal, cracker, pasta, cake boxes • Boxes from toothpaste, medications, etc. TIP FOR BOXES: If it goes in the cupboard, it’s recyclable. If it goes in the fridge, freezer, or microwave it’s not.
Discussion What surprised you most about what you have learned? What two actions will you take to reduce, reuse or recycle?
Thank You! This information was provided by Hands. On Twin Cities’ Community P. O. W. E. R. (Partners on Waste Education and Reduction) grant to educate residents about waste reduction and recycling. SOURCES: www. Rethink. Recycling. com, Hennepin County Environmental Services Community P. O. W. E. R. grants funded by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board.
Next Steps • An important part of this project is to determine if you changed reduce-reuse-recycle behaviors as a result of this information. • In a few weeks we will ask you to complete a short 8 -question survey.
Resources www. Rethink. Recycling. com Your go-to guide for waste & recycling in the Twin Cities Remove from mailing lists: www. optoutpresscreen. com (credit cards) www. dmachoice. org (advertising mail) Recycling plastic bags www. itsinthebagmn. org Reduce Waste www. reduce. org Minnesota Pollution Control Agency www. pca. state. mn. us Recycling Association of Minnesota www. recycleminnesota. org Twin Cities Free Market www. twincitiesfreemarket. org Do it Green! Minnesota www. doitgreen. org Anoka County www. co. anoka. mn. us Carver County www. co. carver. mn. us Dakota County www. co. dakota. mn. us Hennepin County www. co. hennepin. mn. us Ramsey County www. co. ramsey. mn. us Washington County www. co. washington. mn. us