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Glossary

  REDUCE  
 
1.
Reduce the Amount of Unnecessary Packaging
 
   
Choose products with the least amount of packaging.
 
   
Remember that wrenches, screwdrivers and other hardware are often available in loose bins.
 
   
At the grocery store, purchase items such as tomatoes and mushrooms in unpackaged containers.
 
   
Consider large or economy-size items for household products that are used frequently.
 
   
Whenever possible, select grocery, hardware and household items that are available in bulk.
 
 
2.
Adopt Practices that Reduce Waste Toxicity
 
   
Take actions that use non-hazardous or less hazardous components to accomplish the task at hand (i.e. choose reduced mercury batteries or plant marigolds in the garden to ward off certain pests rather than use pesticides)
 
   
Learn alternatives to household items containing hazardous substances. In some cases, products that you have around the house can be used to do the same job as products with hazardous components. Below are source reduction alternatives around your house:
 
    Drain Cleaner
Use a plunger or plumber's snake.
 
    Oven Cleaner
Clean spills as soon as the oven cools using steel wool and baking soda. For tough stains, add salt (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-cleaning ovens).
 
       
    Glass Cleaner
Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart of water. Spray on and use newspaper to wipe dry.
 
       
    Toilet Bowl Cleaner Use a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar (this will clean but not disinfect).  
    Rug Deodorizer
Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
 
       
    Silver Polish
Boil 2 to 3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. (Do not use this method on antique silver knives. The blade will separate from the handle).
 
       
    Plant Sprays
Wipe leaves with mile soap and water; rinse.
 
    Mothballs
Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint or white peppercorns.
 
       
    PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT mix anything with a commercial cleaning agent.  
   
If you do store a homemade mixture, make sure it is properly labeled and do not store it in a container that could be mistaken for food or beverage.
 
   
When preparing alternatives, mix only what is needed for the job at hand and mix them in clean, reusable containers. This avoids waste and the need to store any cleaning mixture.
 
   
If you need to use products with hazardous components, use only the amounts needed. Leftover materials can be shared with friends and neighbors.
 
 
3.
Be Creative. Find New Ways to Reduce Waste Quantity and Toxicity  
    Turn a giant cardboard box into a child's playhouse.  
    Transform and ice cream tub into a flower pot.  
    Give pet hamsters or gerbils paper towel and toilet paper cardboard tubes to play with.  
    Use an egg carton to plant seedlings.  
    Choose beverages such as water or milk in reusable containers, where appropriate.  
         
  REDUSE  
 
1.
Consider Reusable Products  
    Look for items that are available in refillable containers.  
    When possible, use rechargeable batteries.  
    Cloth napkins, sponges or dishcloths can be used around the house and washed over and over.  
    A sturdy mug or cup can be washed and used time and again.  
    When using single-use items, remember to take only what is needed.  
 
2.
Maintain and Repair Durable Products  
    Keep appliances in working order.  
    Mend clothes instead of throwing them away.  
    Consider using low-energy fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent - they will last longer.  
    Use high quality long lasting tires for cars, bikes and other vehicles - using them reduces the rate at which tires are replaced and disposed of.  
 
3.
Reuse Bags, Containers and Other Items  
    Reuse paper and plastic bags and twist ties.  
    Reuse scrap paper and envelopes.  
    Reuse newspaper, boxes, packaging peanuts and bubble wrap to ship packages.  
    Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs and other similar items that otherwise get thrown out or recycled.  
    Turn used lumber into a birdhouse, mailboxes, compost bins or other woodworking projects.  
    CAUTION- Never reuse containers that originally held products such as motor oil or pesticide. These containers and their potentially harmful residues should be discarded.  
 
4.
Borrow, Rent or Share Items Used Infrequently  
    Rent or borrow party decorations and supplies such as tables, chairs, centerpieces, linens and dishes.  
    Rent or borrow seldom used audiovisual equipment.  
    Rent or borrow tools such as ladders, chainsaws, floor buggers, rug cleaners and garden tillers.  
    Share newspapers and magazines with others to extend the lives of these items.  
 
5.
Sell or Donate Goods Instead of Throwing Them Out  
    Donate or resell items to thrift stores or other organizations in need.  
    Sell secondhand items at fairs, bazaars, swap meets and garage sales.  
    Give hand-me-down clothes to family members, neighbors or the needy. Consider acquiring used clothing at thrift stores.  
    Consider conducting a food or clothing drive to help others.  
  RECYCLE  
 
1.
Choose Recyclable Products and Containers and Recycle Them  
    Participate in community recycling drives, curbside programs and drop-off collections.  
    If a recycling program does not exist in your community, participate in establishing one.  
    Consider products made of materials that are collected for recycling locally. In many communities this includes glass, aluminum, steel, paper, cardboard and certain plastics.  
    As more businesses and organizations provide collection opportunities, take advantage of them. For example, many grocery stores collect bags for recycling.  
 
2.
Select Products Made from Recycled Materials  
    Use products with recycled content whenever you can.  
    Look for items in packages and containers made of recycled materials.  
    When checking products for recycled content, look for the statement that recycled materials were used and, if possible, choose the item with the largest percentage of recycled content, if known.  
    Encourage state and local government agencies, local businesses and others to purchase recycled products such as paper, refine oil and retread tires.  
 
3.
Compost Yard Trimmings and Some Food Scraps  
    Learn how to compost food scraps and yard trimmings.  
    Participate in local or regional programs that collect compost materials.  
    If you have a yard, allow mown grass clippings to remain on the lawn to decompose and return nutrients back to the soil, rather than bagging and disposing of them.  
         
         
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