(Tips provided by NRDC)
There are hundreds of simple steps that you can take today to help curb the most serious threats to our planet's health. By using less energy and wasting less water, we can all contribute to the solution. Here are some easy things you can do at home (or in your car) that won't change your lifestyle, but will make a big difference keeping our world healthy and sustainable!
Recycle household discards - Make an effort to participate fully in your town's or your building's recycling program. If there's no recycling program where you live, encourage local officials to start one. If you have a recycling program where you live, work to expand it. In the meantime, learn where you can take items such as paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic, and tires to be recycled, then make an effort to go there. For more information about the benefits of recycling, visit NRDC’s Recycling page.
Make recycling convenient - Put collection bins in various places around your home and office to make recycling convenient. Use different bins that follow your city's recycling policies so you don't have to separate it out later.
Recycle used electronics - Check with the e-Stewards Recyclers in your area about recycling your electronic waste or ‘e-waste’. For a list of e-Stewards Recyclers and more about e-Stewards Certification, see www.e-stewards.org. Learn more about what to with your e-waste.
Use durable goods - Bring your own cloth bags to local stores. Replace plastic and paper cups with ceramic mugs, disposable razors with reusable ones. Refuse unneeded plastic utensils, napkins, and straws when you buy takeout foods. Use a cloth dishrag instead of paper towels at home, and reusable food containers instead of aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Most cities in the United States have clean, drinkable water, so use tap water (you can filter it if you'd like) and refillable water bottles instead of buying bottled water.
Don't forget to reuse - Paper, plastic, glass and cans aren't the only items that should be diverted from incinerators and landfills. Donate old clothing, furniture and other useful but unwanted household items to homeless shelters, thrift stores, animal shelters and other community organizations.
Cut down on extra paper and junk mail – Unsubscribe from unsolicited catalogs and junk mail. Several services will help remove your name from lists of unwanted mail, including CatalogChoice.org (affiliated with NRDC), 41pounds.org, and DMAChoice.org. 41pounds.org charges $41 for five years of service; CatalogChoice.org welcomes donations; and DMAChoice.org, which can also help you control the flow of commercial email, is free.
Compost - Composting reduces the burden on overcrowded landfills and gives you a great natural fertilizer for plants and gardens. Buy a composting setup at a garden supply or hardware store. Start with yard trimmings, fruit and vegetable food scraps, and coffee grounds. Learn how to set up your own compost.
Leave grass clippings on the lawn - Grass clippings make good fertilizer when they decompose. Leaving them on your lawn (“grasscycling”) keeps them from occupying limited space in the local landfill.