How to be a Responsible Consumer

Zero Waste Zero waste is a fresh approach to waste management and the use of resources. It goes beyond the “end-of-the-line” treatment of waste and promotes not only the three “R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle), but also focuses on a “whole system” approach to the use of resources. A large component of Zero Waste involves realizing that the creation of waste is often not necessary. There are many things that we can do as consumers to prevent waste.
Consumer Tips
  • Save paper, time and postage by paying your bills online.
  • As the price of paper, cards and postage increases, consider emailing e-cards.
  • When printing documents, print on both sides of the paper.
  • Email documents and information instead of printing and mailing them.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
  • Buy products that have long life spans – avoid disposable items.
  • Buy products that have minimal packaging.
  • Buy products in their concentrated form.
  • Buy only what you need. Consuming less, you dispose of less waste.
  • Consider buying in bulk for those necessary purchases. You will save money and reduce packaging
  • Buy products that are made from recycled materials.
  • Lessen your environmental footprint when moving by:
    • Give away or sell non-essential items. Donate to libraries and charities. Hold a garage sale or give things away at places like FreeCycle.
    • Collect cardboard boxes and packing material before your move instead of buying new.
    • Eliminate junk mail at your new address by filing a temporary change of address form instead of a permanent one. Recycling junk mail is the Eliminate junk mail instead of recycling it.

Reuse Your Bag

Reuseable BagUse reusable bags every time you shop instead of plastic ones.

Here's why:

  • Each year billions of bags end up in our streets as litter.
  • Production requires vast amounts of oil.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, but instead break down into small toxic particles polluting our soil and waterways.
  • Recent studies have shown that plastic outnumbers plankton 6:1 in the ocean.