Reduce Your Footprint

Taking Care of Our Resources

We can all use some tips on reducing our impact on our environment. From big cities to small towns and even rural residents, see what you can do. The following tips focus on our water, land, and energy impact. “The Story of Stuff” video by Annie Leonard shows a vivid reminder about what happens in the lifecycle of products people buy and throw out (there are also links to other videos such as electronics, cosmetics, and bottled water).

Reduce

Reduce your use by turning off the water while brushing your teeth. Install water efficient appliances when replacing old ones. Learn more at Low Impact Living and Water: Use it Wisely.

Buy in bulk to avoid the excess packaging found in single serve items. Buy items in containers you know you can recycle to reduce the amount of waste you’re throwing out (and resist buying disposable products).

Other Ways to Reduce

Reuse

Collect rainwater or gray water (clean water from washing fruits and veggies) and use for watering indoor and outdoor plants. Learn more at WateReuse.

Other Ways to Reuse
  • Reuse items such as coffee mugs instead of disposable foam cups.
  • Bring/purchase items to/from the thrift stores in your area rather than purchasing new items.

Recycle

When you recycle, you help reduce the amount of waste heading to the landfills. This helps slow the need for finding more space to bury our waste. See our supplies page for standardized recycling labels for your home, school, office or city.

Water Recycling

Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and replenishing a ground water basin (referred to as ground water recharge). When old items (recyclables) are made into new items, some of these items take water, but not nearly the volume of water used when making items out of new (virgin) materials.

Some energy is used in the recycling process, but again, many of the items require more energy when new items are made.

Compost

When compost is used on your lawn and plants, it will help retain moisture and reduce the need for excess water. By composting grass, leaves, and other organic materials you will help save space in local landfills. Yard waste typically makes up one-third of our waste stream.

When you have the right combination of organics, the microorganisms put forth the effort to reduce the pile rather than you expending your energy.

Other Information on Compost

Finally, see our organics page for more information.

Buy Recycled

Help close the loop by purchasing items made with recycled products. For example, “paper” egg cartons are made from newspaper whereas typical eggs cartons are made from foam. You can also purchase office/white computer paper that has at least 30% post consumer recycled material in it at most office supply stores.

Have a tip? Contact us and let us know about it.