R3 reminds you to follow the 3 R’s--Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! R3 is Central Virginia Waste Management Authority’s (CVWMA) recycling mascot and CVWMA is Central Virginia’s Recycling Authority. Many communities throughout Virginia and the U.S. have recycling programs in place. But, recycling is just one part of the equation. Reducing, reusing and recycling go hand in hand to help us all improve our environment.
Watch the video to find out what you can do to follow the 3 R’s.
How many of the activities listed below do you and your family already do? Can you think of other ways you can reduce, reuse or recycle? Tell us about them - post your comments at the end of this article.
REDUCE – throw away less by buying only what you need and by buying fewer disposable and over-packaged products.
1. Use washable dishes instead of paper plates and cups.
2. Use a reusable water bottle instead of single serve water bottles.
3. Bring your own bag to the grocery store.
4. Pack a litterless lunch with only containers that can be recycled or washed.
5. Have furniture, toys and appliances repaired instead of tossing them and getting new ones.
REUSE – use items over and over or give gently used items to others.
1. Reuse containers, bags boxes, tubs, cups, bottles and jars over and over before discarding or recycling.
2. Pass down outgrown clothing, books and toys to younger brothers and sisters, donate to charity or have a yard sale.
3. Collect rain water in a rain barrel to use to water the garden.
4. Take “garbage” and make it into something new to use or to play with.
5. Take your food scraps and yard waste and start a compost bin in your back yard.
RECYCLE – as much as you can by collecting recyclable materials to be picked up at the curb or taken to a drop-off location and made into new products.
1. Collect paper and beverage containers and find the best way to recycle them in your community so they can be made into recycled paper and new beverage containers.
2. Have your school work with a recycling partner to collect and recycle ink jet cartridges, cell phones, bottle caps or aluminum tabs.
3. Collect aluminum cans and take to your local metal recycler for redemption.
4. Look for the recycling symbol and buy recycled products like recycled content paper, cards, and paper towels.
5. Encourage your parents to look for recycling centers that accept things like tires, batteries, motor oil, paints, and electronics for recycling too.
Why should we bother to reduce, reuse and recycle?
It’s easy – Most localities have curbside pick-up or drop-off locations for your recyclables. Contact your locality or visit Earth 911 to find out what you can recycle and where, and recycle more or start today.
It saves natural resources – Plastic is made from petroleum, aluminum from an ore called bauxite, tin cans from mostly steel, and paper from trees. Recycling these materials means fewer natural resources need to be mined or harvested. Glass, steel, aluminum and plastic can be recycled over and over again.
It saves money – Recycling saves fuel and transportation costs and saves on garbage disposal fees.
It saves energy – Recycling just one aluminum can instead of making it from scratch saves enough energy to run a computer for 3 hours.
It saves landfill space – Our landfills are getting full. Putting only materials that can’t be reused or recycled in the trash will make landfills last longer. Plastic, aluminum, paper, and other recyclable materials do us no good trapped in a landfill.
It reduces pollution and protects the environment – Recycling reduces air and water pollution and mining waste because it uses less energy and causes less damage to land and water than mining and harvesting.
Want to do more? Try these activities at home from CVWMA’s Kids page:
- Recycled Paper Making – make your own recycled paper using old scraps and a blender.
- Recycled Craft Making – be creative, make new toys, games and other items from your trash and recycling.
Want to learn more? Visit these recycling and waste management links:
Article by: Stephanie Feaser, Public Information Assistant, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority
Many items found around the home can be used for different purposes. So before you throw those items away, think about how they can be reused. Below are some suggestions of how to reuse those everyday bits and pieces.
|Carrier bags and twist ties. Carrier bags can be reused in the shops or as bin bags around the house. Paper bags make useful wrapping paper and twist ties can be used to secure loose items together, such as computer wires.|
|Envelopes By sticking labels over the address you can reuse envelopes. Alternatively, old envelopes can be used as scrap paper to make notes on.|
|Jars and pots. By cleaning glass jars and small pots, you can use them as small containers to store odds and ends.|
|Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap Make useful packing material when moving house or to store items.|
|Old clothes – can be made into other textile items such as cushion covers or teapot cosies.|
|Packaging Such as foil and egg cartons can be donated to schools and nurseries, where they can be use in art and craft projects.|
|Scrap paper Can be used to make notes and sketches. Don’t forget to recycle it when you no longer need it.|
|Tyres Old tyres can be given to your local petrol station where they will be recycled. Or you could make a tyre-swing by tying a strong rope around a tyre and attaching it to a tree.|
|Used wood Can be used in woodcrafts for making objects such as a spice rack or a bird table. Alternatively it could be used as firewood.|
|Old Electrical Equipment Donate old electrical equipment to schools or community centers so that others can reuse them.|
|Donate Old Clothes and Books Other people can reuse your unwanted clothes and books when you donate them to charity shops.|
|Car-boot Sale Have a car-boot sale and get rid of some unwanted items. Other people may find a use for them, plus it gives you the opportunity to earn some extra cash.|
|Rechargeable Batteries Rechargeable batteries can be reused many times before they need throwing away, opposed to regular batteries that create unnecessary waste.|
|Build a Compost Bin You can reuse many waste items, such as eggshells and old tea bags, using a compost bin. This waste then degrades and turns into compost that can be used to help your garden grow.|
|Grass Cycling After mowing your lawn, instead of throwing the grass cuttings away, leave them in your garden. The nutrients from the cuttings go back into the soil and act as a fertiliser.|
Sites encouraging reuse
Don’tDumpThat provides a quick, easy, and free way to get rid of items you don’t want. So if your junk still has some reusable life in it, don’t throw it out with the rubbish: someone, somewhere can probably find a use for it.
Simple and easy to use, all you have to do is visit the website, find your nearest forum on the map and register with your email address. You can then place an offer (you can add photos) then wait for someone to ask, arrange a time for them to pick up – and it’s done. If you’re looking for something you can send your own message to ask.
Free to join, no fees or commissions. No emails to clutter your inbox, no spam or advertising and everything is family-friendly, legal, honest and decent. Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by using Don’tDumpThat.
Another site, Flooting, helps find new homes for your old stuff, in your local neighbourhood.
Signing up and listing something takes only a moment, and there are no overflowing email inboxes, no spam or advertising, no payment or delivery hassles, and no time-wasters. Flooting is launched in London and will be coming to other parts of the UK soon.
It is a great way to get involved in your local community, and keep good, usable stuff out of landfill, which means less new stuff being manufactured and a happier planet.
What have you reused before?
Add your description and photograph of things that you have reused before.