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Recycling Basics: Reduce

recycling bins outside

During the last few decades, our society has learned more about how our actions affect our planet. This increased awareness led to movements such as protection of endangered species, preservation of habitats, and recycling.

This week, read a quick summary of the three recycling buzzwords: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Waste Hierarchy

When discussing environmental impact and “greenness,” we use the term “waste hierarchy.” This term refers to the three keywords associated with recycling—reduce, reuse, recycle—and organizes them sequentially.


We can take better care of our planet by simply reducing the amount we consume. Fewer shopping trips and fewer McDonald runs result in fewer boxes, plastic wrap, and printed cups in our landfills.

You don’t have to stop shopping or eating out completely. Just ask yourself, “Do I really need this right now?” before you buy it. Reducing waste will help both our planet and your bank account.

Here are more tips on how to reduce waste in your life:

  • Avoid disposable things when feasible.
  • Take care of your belongings so you don’t have to replace them too early.
  •  Buy products in concentrated quantities to save money and minimize the number of plastic bottles you throw away. (Cleaning chemicals, shampoo, dishwasher soap, ect.)

Come back Wednesday and Friday to learn about the last two words: reuse and recycle. Happy reducing!