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How much of your household waste could be reduced or eliminated with a little effort and some creative thinking?  It is easy to look at a jar after it is emptied and decide to recycle it or throw it away, although hopefully you will choose recycling over throwing it in the trash.  Or do you look at it and think, “Hmm, I could use this in another way!”  Reusing is simply using an item again after its original use.  It can also cut down on the number of times you have to repurchase an item.  Glass containers and jar are easily cleaned and used for drinking glasses, planters, or containers.

Reuse benefits the environment

  • Using a product again keeps it out of the landfill and out of the environment.
  • Helps you save money by reducing what you need to buy at the store.
  • The raw materials, such as wood, needed to produce packing materials will be saved when reusing.
  • Fewer resources will be used to recycle the material, haul it to the landfill, or incinerate it.

Ways to reduce your impact

  • Bring reusable grocery and produce bags to the store
  • Clean jars and containers to reuse at a later time
  • Buy items that use as little packaging as possible
  • Repair or alter clothing when possible
  • Shop secondhand instead of buying new
  • Buy food and household items in bulk

As we head into April, it is important to think about the impact humans have on their immediate and the global environment.  A recent cleanup of 0.5 miles of stream bed netted close to 4,000 pounds of litter.  Everything from plastic bottles to a bench seat from a vehicle were found.  Each of these objects made their way there by way of people.  The wind moves the lighter trash around until it gets caught in the storm drains or the bushes, trees, and waterways throughout the county.  The amazing volunteers and environmental stewards located all over Prince William County are working hard to clean up litter they see.  Do your part by picking up litter you see near your home, workplace, or shopping area.  You can also make a significant impact by reusing.  Planning and practice will make reducing second nature.  Behavior change comes with identifying the areas in your life that can most benefit from reducing your impact.  Every little change you make and every little bit you do adds up to big effects in your life and your community!

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