Stop Throwing Stuff Away (Reducing Waste 101)

by Tim Fulton on October 23, 2008

Image: edkohler

One of my the best things is that conservation is not only good for the environment, but most times it’s good for your wallet. Think about it. When you save gas, energy, or old stuff to reuse, you’re also saving yourself the cost of having to buy all those things again.

This principle applies to disposable products as well. The other day, the Simple Dollar did a cost-benefit analysis and several reusable v disposable home products. In no big surprise, they found that it may cost a bit more upfront to buy the resusable options, but that the overall cost is a lot less in the long run.

Here’s what all they looked at:

  • paper towels versus cloth rags
  • ziploc bags versus rubbermaid containers
  • swiffers versus mops
  • rechargeable versus disposable batteries
  • paper plates versus plastic plates

A lot of these things may seem common sense, but there are definitely a few I am guilty of. For example, I’ve run out of cotton rags and am currently using paper towels for various bike maintenance tasks. This may seem inconsequential, but while riding my bike in the winter I will likely be cleaning my bike thoroughly every day and consuming a large number of paper towels to do it if I don’t make the switch over.

Also, another great tip from the EcoRenovator forums:

One other item – at work i save anything i print our ( if i REALLY have to print at all).
i take the papers home – we cut in half ( so they are 5.5 ” x 8.5″) and use those at home for shopping lists / To do lists / or just notes. Great because #1 it is “free” and #2 it is reusing the resource before it gets recycled.

Are you still commiting the sin of throwing away?

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