Reduction and Reuse

Recycling is a good habit to have, but reusing items and taking steps to reduce waste often can have an even bigger impact. 
Cut down on household waste

Simple steps over time can add up to less waste being sent to the landfill. Unsure where to start? Pick one item off this list and try it for a month. Then, when the next month comes, pick another practice to try. Over time, you can find the combination of simple steps that work for your household and help the community conserve landfill space.
1)    Carry reusable shopping bags, or reuse the bags the store gives you
2)    Instead of drinking bottled water, buy a reusable water bottle.
3)    Buy groceries in bulk, or pick products that have minimal packaging. Choose cardboard egg cartons over plastic cartons – they can be recycled more easily.
4)    Make your own cleaning products using vinegar and water or baking soda and water that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
5)    Already using a reusable straw? Try taking your own carry-out containers to restaurants for leftovers, or keeping a reusable fork, knife, and spoon on hand to use instead of plastic cutlery.
6)    Look for toilet paper, tissues, and paper products made from recycled material. This encourages companies to make use of all the paper products you are recycling.
7)    Borrow or rent tools that you don’t use often. Share the tools you have with friends and neighbors.
8)    Try reusable beeswax wraps or silicone stretch lids instead of foil or plastic wrap to cover bowls and wrap leftovers.
9)    Buy rechargeable batteries and long-lasting energy efficient lightbulbs.
10)    Try using reusable cotton kitchen towels for spills and wiping down surfaces instead of paper towels.
11)    Reuse plastic bags from baked goods, fruit and vegetables, bread and other grocery items for pet waste so the bags get two uses before heading to the landfill.
12)    Consider repairing any broken items before replacing them with new. Sometimes a few stitches or a cord can add years to the useful life of a product. Your neighborhood hardware store, computer repair shop, and seamstress can all help identify when a simple repair is possible.

Stop unwanted mail
If your household is like many others, you received hundreds of pieces of unwanted JUNK mail every year. Here are some simple steps that may help get you off those pesky mailing lists.
1.    Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. This will help reduce the number of national advertisements but you still may receive many local merchant ads and news from charities and political candidates. For more information, go online at or call: (212) 768-7277.
2.    To get off credit card lists, try calling (888) 567-8688 and listen to the recording and follow the instructions given.
3.    Mailing list brokers provide national mailing lists to companies. Call Equifax at (800) 873-7655 and Experian at (800) 407-1088 and ask to be removed from all of their lists. Contact Mailbox Values at (612) 929-1441 and use the automated phone system to inform them you want your information deleted from their lists.
What can be done to reuse used Christmas Cards?

You can take the cards to the Handicapped Development Center, 3402 Hickory Grove Road, Davenport. The office is open from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. weekdays. They make gift tags out of the cards.