Reuse Items Instead of Tossing Them
Reuse tends to be the forgotten R of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but
reusing items is even more environmentally friendly than recycling. The
term “reuse” means more than just using the same item over and over
yourself – it means maximizing the life of the product and all the
materials that went into making it. You “reuse” when you borrow or loan
items, buy used products, choose durable products at the store, or use
old items for creative new purposes.
Check out our Where
Do I Take My? database to find out how to exchange used items. You
can sell, donate, and buy used items on the following Web sites:
Tips for Reusing Items
- Give away, donate, or sell items you no longer need, or shop
for previously used items rather than buying new. Visit our
Do I Take My? database to find drop-off locations.
- Take your own coffee cup to the coffee shop instead of receiving
a disposable cups. Some coffee stands will charge you a few pennies
less for bringing a reusable mug.
- Turn scrap paper into a notepad using staples or glue.
- Take your spent ink cartridges back to the office supply store
so they can be remanufactured. Some even offer cash
incentives. Also, most companies are now offering free shipping and
recycling of their ink and toner cartridges. Simply look at your
printer to identify the manufacturer and view that company's
website. Most companies have a section dedicated to their recycling
program or environmental program with more information.
- Compost your
food and yard waste to reduce trash by up to 40%. It's a
simple way to reduce waste and produce a nutrient-rich conditioner
for your lawn, garden and houseplants .
- Use reclaimed (salvaged) items in your building or yard & garden
Click here to find places that accept and re-sell used building
- Plastic margarine tubs and yogurt containers are good for
freezing jams and vegetables, or for storing leftovers in the
refrigerator. The tubs and containers can also be used to store push
pins, tacks and other small office items.
- Re-use paper that is printed on only one side: Simply put it
back into your printer's paper drawer and print on the other side.
This is a perfect approach for printing drafts, receipts and other
documents that are for your personal use.
- Give the magazines you've already read to interested friends,
office waiting rooms, and organizations such as hospitals or
- Styrofoam peanuts from packaging can be saved and used for
sending the next fragile parcel. Another option is to contact the
Peanut Hotline at
www.loosefillpackaging.com or 800-828-2214 to find out where you
can drop them off for reuse.
- Buy gift bags that can be used over and over instead of wrapping
Call Thurston County Public Works at (360) 867-2491 or e-mail