Tips to practice the 3 Rs : reducing, reusing and recycling

No need to wrap ! Refuse the excess wrapping and packaging in retail.
Paper bags are made of trees, and plastic bags are made of petroleum.
Both cause pollution in their making.

Take your own bags to the market to carry most of your items in them.

If taking home supermarket plastic bags, reuse them as garbage bags.

Prefer products with less packaging or with reusable packages such as jars and glasses.
Avoid non-recyclable packages. Refuse polystyrene.

Avoid the frequent use of detachable items such as dishes and eating utensils (very common in fast-food stores).

Buy only what you are really going to use.

Prefer durable products. Purchase only certified toys.

Do not buy fake products such as clothing, tennis shoes, CDs, DVDs, IT products, sunglasses, batteries, etc. Fewer taxes collected mean less social investments.

Avoid buying superfluous items. Do not fill your home with junk.

Return unused stationery to your company’s storeroom.

Make a shopping list before leaving home. Avoid impulse shopping.

At the office, use only 1 plastic cup all day long or have your own mug.

At home, prefer cloth napkins, towels and filters instead of paper tissue.

Refuse leaflets.

Use both sides of paper when writing, printing or sketching. Check texts with the monitor before printing. Save trees.

Reuse gift wrappings.

Give useful gifts. Try to find out what your relatives need or are considering to buy in the occasion.

Many people are already propagating such idea by email : Before printing, think of your responsibility and commitment to the environment.

If you use internet banking, deactivate their sending of printed monthly statements by mail (reactivate whenever needed).

Whenever possible, try to use food entirely making use of stalks, leaves, seeds and skins. Find nice recipes at the website .

Donate clothes, toys, books and other objects that you do not use anymore. They can be useful to other people. Pass them ahead. Some institutions, such as the Salvation Army, collect used furniture and objects to sell in charity bazaars.

Look for second hand furniture and objects.

Organize your closet at least at every season change. You will find forgotten items that can be useful to somebody else. If clothes are too worn out, they will serve as cleaning cloths.

Prefer to repair rather than to replace objects.

Do not discard your Christmas tree. Take care of it and plant it in the garden after Christmas. Or use an artificial tree instead.

Use your imagination to reuse objects that otherwise will become trash.

Take unused or expired medicines to a nearby health center.

Prefer recycled products.

Encourage your community to demand selective collection and the end of open air garbage deposits. Require initiatives from your mayor.

Do not dispose of cell phone batteries, light bulbs, paint remains or chemical products with your home garbage. In case of doubts on how to dispose of them, refer to the manufacturer’s customer service.

The Brazilian company Apliquim recycles light bulbs .

Demand from your mayor more efforts to create cooperatives and associations of recyclable material collectors.

Do not keep old tires at home, and do not dispose of them in any place. They attract mosquitoes that cause diseases such as dengue. Leave them where you bought new ones.

Regarding the disposal of computers, TV sets, cell phones, microwave ovens, cameras and other equipment, demand from your government regulations on the recycling and treatment of electronic garbage, as many components have toxic substances.

With creativity, decorate your home with a beautiful fruit bowl, handcrafted items made of recyclables, seashells collected on the beach (very well washed), and vases of foliage, seasoning plants or flowers with roots, in order to create an atmosphere of harmony with nature. If you have a backyard, plant a flower garden, a small vegetable bed or a tree to shelter and attract birds. On-line Environmental Education for All