Recycling is a great practice to minimize waste from going to landfill, but it is just one aspect of “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle”. To compliment recycling, we must reduce, or precycle. So what exactly is precycling? Precycling means preventing recycling, meaning buying and using products that produce little or no waste whenever possible. So how do we find convenient ways to precycle? Well, here are some helpful tips:
- Bring reusable bags with you when you shop and eliminate the need for plastic shopping bags.
- Buy bulk items and store them at home in reusable containers.
- Always make sure the packaging of items you buy is recyclable and check the number within the recycling symbol: # 1 & 2 are the most easily recycled materials.
- Try to buy as locally as possible. Always ask yourself, “ How far did this product travel to get to this store? ” Sometimes a product that was made thousands of miles away may have a cheaper dollar value than a local product but the true cost is all the fossil fuels that were used to import that product from far away. Think globally, buy locally!
- Buy no styrofoam. Styrofoam is made of hazardous materials that are the most difficult to breakdown in landfills. We as consumers have the power to show corporations what to produce and what to phase out. If we show the corporations that we will not buy products packaged in styrofoam, they will stop making it.
At the end of the day always just do your best! The planet is a vast living organism. Be good to yourselves, to your fellow humans, and to your planet that sustains us all. Happy precycling!