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Residential Waste Reduction in Mecklenburg County

Enviro Shopping
Do your shopping selections add a lot or a little to the waste stream? The trick is to become aware of the impact of our decisions and try to start making environmental stewardship a habit,
not a choice.

1. Think before you buy. Do you really need the item? Can you make do with what you already have on hand?
2.  Avoid single-serving packages.
3.  Avoid packages containing several individually wrapped items.
4.  Buy eggs in cardboard cartons, not polystyrene.
5.  Buy loose rather than prepackaged produce.
6.  Buy concentrated products when possible.
7.  Avoid single use, nonrefillable and disposable products, such as paper towels, throw-away cameras and disposable razors respectively.
8.  Ask clerks not to bag purchases of only a few, easily carried items.
9.  When asked whether you want paper or plastic bags, select the type you are more likely to reuse for other purposes, such as trash can liners, newspaper recycling or future shopping.
10. Avoid plastic packaging when there are affordable alternatives.
11. Make your Earthday celebration memorable for a "waste-free" celebration by boycotting use of disposable items such as paper plates and cups at your cookout.
12. Need extra picnic tables, chairs, or even an industrial size barbecue grill?  Consider borrowing or renting items that you will use only occasionally. 
13. Cleaning up after barbecuing is easy and toxic-free.  After the charcoal has cooled, clean the grill by placing wet newspapers on the racks, close the lid and wait for an hour.  Rub the newspapers across the racks.  No need to scrub or to use special cleaning products.
14.  Lawn grooming for your cookouts is a breeze when mowers, weed eaters and hedge trimmers are kept in tip-top shape.  Regular maintenance prolongs the life of yard equipment and ensures maximum performance.

If you take the total amount of waste produced in Mecklenburg County and divide it by the number of residents, you'll find that a Mecklenburg County resident produces almost 7 pounds of garbage daily!

CHOOSE PRODUCTS WISELY
Shop with the environment in mind & choose products that:
• make the best use of energy resources
• don't pollute air and water
• are reusable or recyclable
• are made from recycled material
• use a minimum of materials in design packaging

PRACTICE THE FIVE R'S IN SELECTING PACKAGING
More than 30% of household waste is packaging. As an enviroshopper, you can choose products in packages that have the least amount of negative environmental impact.
• Reduce the amount of packaging you buy and throw away.
• Reuse packaging.
• Recycle packaging whenever possible.
• Reject packaging that's unsatisfactory.
• Respond to producers and retailers to let them know their packaging is unsatisfactory.

REDUCE PACKAGING
• Take your grocery bags back to the store.
• Take your own shopping bag for small purchases.
• Choose packaging that uses the least amount of material.
• Buy products in the largest quantity possible in one package or buy refills and add liquid.

For more tips on shopping wisely:
http://frugalliving.about.com/
Email or call 704-432-3466 with questions or comments.


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