Precycling: Preventing Waste Before It Happens
To most people, there is no better solution to green living other than recycling. We have grown accustomed to it that little did we know it is just as lethal to our environment as manufacturing new items. Recycling also requires energy, resources and creates pollution at the same time and this is why it will always be second choice to more ecological options. The 3R’s of green living – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – are in that sequence for a purpose. Though it does make sense to find ways to reuse and recycle items so that they won’t end up in landfills, it’s also essential that we know how to reduce the amount of waste we dispose of at the same time.
Precycling is a more positive approach to 3R’s Reduce and Reuse. By doing so you are looking for ways to prevent items that will generate waste or acquire items that can be reused or recycled for something else. In other words, it takes into account the amount of waste an item will produce before choosing to buy it. If we practice precycling and recycling at the same time, we can decrease waste in our homes going from four bags of garbage a week to one normal size kitchen trash bag, and this can significantly reduce the trash amount we bring into our homes or throw away.
Another benefit of precycling is that it also helps in saving money. There are quite a number of tips that aid in eliminating waste from our shopping practices:
- Buy in Bulk
Most consumers these days correlate bulk buying in grocery stores with saving money, but what most of us don’t know is that it also has the ability to reduce waste in our landfill. When you buy items in bulk it uses less packaging because they aren’t individually packaged. Furthermore, products like beans, coffee, nuts and grains are now using bulk bins, which eliminates packaging altogether and enable consumers to take only what they need. Many grocery stores these days allow shoppers to bring their own cloth bags and reusable containers for those products mentioned to prevent plastic bags usage from the store.
- Shop for Items with Reduced Packaging
One of the easiest ways to precycle is to shop for products that use less packaging. If we pick items that uses little or no packaging, we prevent adding more waste in our environment. Some cereals such as MOM brands opted for lower cost, lower wastes packaging over other cereal brands that still go for packaging that are housed by cardboard boxes.
- Go for Products that Are Long-Lasting and of High Quality
Many consumer budgets are tight these days, making going for low-quality products are one of the few options they are left with for to save a few extra dollars in the short term. However, this practice can cost one financially in the long run and even creates unnecessary waste. Products that are low in quality frequently have a shorter life span which means they get replaced more often or quickly. In return, consumers only spend more money on replacements and those items that are being replaced end up in the landfill. Always remember that it’s best that you spend upfront for a product with a longer life span as this can be waste-effective and cost-effective in the long run.
- Go for Refillable’s and Concentrates
Products that are concentrated and refillable can greatly save on expenses and wastes. Washing detergents that are now being made widely available in concentrated forms are small and only needs less packaging, which helps us save materials and energy used during manufacturing. Concentrates and refills get you to pay less and lets you get the precycling satisfaction you need.
- Disregard Disposables
Items such as plastic and paper plates, cups, cutlery and napkins are often preferred by many consumers because of the convenience they offer. But when you think about it, the convenience they offer come with a cost to our environment. When we eliminate disposables in our purchases, we also cut down our expenses and wastes at the same time. Keep in mind that precyclers reduce waste from the beginning.
There are other brilliant ways to reduce waste in our homes and in our environment. Reducing waste is not only the key to sustainable living but it also make our lives even simpler.
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