Generating and disposing of waste contributes to many environmental issues from energy consumption to water/land contamination to greenhouse gas production. We follow the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Generally this means:
- Reduce your consumption of products that require significant waste.
- Reuse items as many times as possible to extract the most value out of them before disposing of it or passing it on to someone else.
- Recycle paper, plastic and metals in the proper containers in your building’s trash room.
Here are some ideas on how you can reduce, reuse and recycle more:
- New York City recycles! Paper, glass, metal, certain types of plastic, and even furniture can be recycled normally if you canâ€™t reuse them. Go to NYC Wasteless to find out exactly what the city will take.
- Buy a reuseable water bottle and drink tap water instead of drinking bottled water that has to be trucked into the City. There are some for as low as $5. If you do drink bottled water, refill the bottles several times with tap water.
- In addition to the Salvation Army and Goodwill, there are plenty of smaller thrift stores all over New York City. There are also websites like Craigslist and Freecycle where you can give your things directly to others (and pick up some great bargains yourself!)
- To get rid of all those unwanted catalogs, call the company and ask to get your name off the list. The last thing companies want is an unhappy potential customer, so theyâ€™ll oblige. The Direct Marketing Association can help you get rid of the rest of your junk mail (as well as unwanted calls and marketing e-mails!)
- New York City also recycles electronics. If you canâ€™t donate your computer to a school or resell your TV to friends, you can bring them to recycling events around the city. Many stores will take your unwanted electronics as well. Visit NYC Wasteless Electronic Recycling for more info.
- Collect your organic waste and bring it to the Union Square Greenmarket where the Lower East Side Ecology Center collects it and makes sure that it is turned into good soil. They can also teach you how to compost your waste in your own apartment as well.