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Weekly Tips | April 23, 2012

Make Earth Day Every Day!

We all make choices every day about what we reuse, recycle, compost or throw away. Why not make Earth Day an every day event by considering the immediate and cumulative impact of our choices on the health of the environment?

On April 22nd people in 192 countries celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. And you can make a difference every day! Start by taking a peek in your trash and recycling containers. Take an inventory of the single-use, throw-away, and recyclable items you use in your daily routines.  Look for items that could be replaced by durable products.

Once you have your list of the common items in your garbage and recycling, try and identify where you could make different choices. Is there anything you could reuse, donate or sell? Are there items you can purchase in bulk? Are there food scraps in the garbage that you can put in the food and yard waste bin or compost at your home?

Replace single-use items with reusable, durable and washable items like water bottles, travel mugs, cloth dish towels, and cloth shopping bags. You will be surprised by the difference small changes can make over time – you may even be able to reduce the size of your garbage container and save money!

Every waste reduction choice you make saves resources – your actions are part of the solution! To learn more about how to make every day Earth Day visit the Environmental Protection Agency online.

Resources: EPA Waste Reduction Tips

The Big Picture

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that we generated 250 million tons of trash in the United States and we recycled and composted over 85 million tons of this material(1).

King County’s population reached 1,931,249 people in 2010. If everyone in the county did one thing every day to reduce waste that would add up to more than 1.9 million waste reductions daily!

Waste reduction and recycling are important steps toward reducing demand for new products and conserving valuable natural resources.

Learn about the cumulative impact of single-use items like paper towels and plastic beverage bottles locally with the King County EcoConsumer’s Waste Calculator.

Sources:(1) EPA Municipal Solid Waste | (2) King County EcoComsumer Waste Calculator

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