Consider reusable products

This helps reduce the cost of managing waste and often conserves materials and resources.

For instance, a sturdy mug or cup can be washed and used time and again.

Sturdy and washable utensils and tableware can be used at home and for picnics, outdoor parties, and potlucks.

At work, see if "recharged" cartridges for laser printers, copiers, and fax machines are available. They not only reduce waste, but also typically save money.

Cloth napkins, sponges, or dishcloths can be used around the house. These too can be washed over and over again.

Look for items that are available in refillable containers. For example, some bottles and jugs for beverages and detergents are made to be refilled and reused, either by the consumer or the manufacturer.

When possible, use rechargeable batteries to help reduce garbage and keep toxic metals found in some batteries out of the waste stream.

When using single-use items, remember to take only what is needed. For example, take only one napkin or ketchup packet if more are not needed.

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