Apr 01, 2020
The Three Rs have received an update! We’re all familiar with the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle), but have you heard of the 7 Rs? It turns out that there’s a few more things we could be doing for the environment.
Making smart choices can require some planning. Before you leave your house, remember to bring your reusable items: bags, water bottle, straw, cup or takeout container. You can also make the choice to purchase material made from recycled products.
It’s ok to say no thank you when offered something that will end up in the trash can later that day. For example, in a restaurant, we often don’t need a plastic straw in our glass. In the grocery store, opt for food in less (or no) packaging if possible.
Here's a good chance to get creative. How can we make less waste? This includes in the home, in the office, and even when out on the weekend. A few options include something as little as using both sides of a sheet of paper, changing printing settings to conserve ink, eating your leftovers or carpooling.
It's great to use something over and over again. You can use plastic or glass containers instead of plastic bags, cloth grocery bags instead of paper or plastic, and don’t forget about those great DIY reuse projects. Recycled arts and crafts are a great way to give new life to material that was otherwise destined for disposal. Learn how you can get involved in ACUA's Recycled Art Contest.
Many products travel long distances just to get to our local stores and go through energy intensive manufacturing processes that create pollution. That’s why it's important to try and fix items when they break. Does it need some tape, some glue, or a small work-around to remain functional? If this route is possible, that would be best for the environment and your wallet.
In Atlantic County, we offer single-stream recycling. Being able to put your paper, plastic, glass, cans, bottles, and cardboard in one container makes it easy! Certain items don’t belong, like plastic bags, styrofoam, tangly items or food waste. ACUA does not accept electronics for recycling, but here are a few places that do. Additionally, be sure to recycle plastic bags back at the grocery store!
Composting food and yard waste is easy, saves money, and helps the environment. At ACUA, we accept vegetative waste (leaves, grass, and branches) for composting. We use big machines to turn the yard waste into Eco Soil.
Backyard composting is a great option for your kitchen scraps. For more information about how to get started with composting at your home please click here. Indoor composting is a great option too -- worms are cheap, quiet pets that help eat your veggie scraps. Their home is inexpensive and easy to build. If you’re composting the right way, it’s not smelly and won’t attract pests.