CleanScapes Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards Competition, Fall 2009-Spring 2010
CleanScapes, your garbage, recycling, and compost service provider, is sponsoring a $50,000 neighborhood challenge to reduce waste. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to apply. The only thing you have to do is create less garbage! To begin reducing waste, start by taking an inventory of the single-use, throw-away, or even recyclable items you use in your daily routines and try to replace these items with reusable, durable and washable items – water bottles, travel mugs, cloth dish towels, and cloth shopping bags. You will be surprised by the difference small changes can make over time.
The best way to discover where you can reduce waste is to sort through your trash and recycling. It sounds a little gross at first, but you’ll find it is very informative. Lay out a tarp in the garage or in the yard, put on some gloves, and start sorting. Look for what each family member throws away, what could be recycled, which materials take up the most space, and which materials could be replaced by durable materials.
Try and identify where you could make different choices. If your recycle bin is filled with plastic water bottles, think about getting everyone their own reusable water bottle. If you move the paper towels out of sight for emergency use only and replace with kitchen towels and cloth napkins, you can save about a roll a week. If you have a lawn, think about leaving the clippings where they are.
Packaging that comes home with the weekly groceries can be reduced by purchasing local products, shopping at farmers markets, purchasing in bulk, using cloth grocery bags, and not using plastic bags for produce. You can reduce the amount of paper coming into your home by signing up online to be removed from junk mail, catalog, and phone book mailing and distribution lists to reduce the paper that ends up in your recycling can. Go to www.dmachoice.org, www.catalogchoice.org and www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org.
To find out more about the competition or learn more waste reduction tips, visit www.cleanscapes.com. No project is too small. You can submit your ideas to educationoutreach@….