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Whenever and wherever you get your caffeine fix, consider taking a reusable travel mug with you. Making this small change will help to reduce waste. Most coffee cups and lids are not recyclable. In fact, only the coffee cup sleeve that allows you to carry that hot cup without burning your hands is recyclable.
Your average alkaline battery isn't recyclable. When you toss these into the trash, they go straight to the landfill. Once in the landfill, the battery casing corrodes over time, and chemicals start to leach into the soil. Those chemicals make their way into our water supply, and eventually they reach the ocean. However, rechargeable batteries are a different story. They can contain mercury, cadmium, lead, and lithium, and can be recycled! Learn more here
Package waste -- cardboard, plastic, and paper -- often doesn't get recycled. Everything we see in a store often comes wrapped up in some form of packaging. While it's good practice to recycle and reuse items, you have a greater impact when you reduce certain behaviors. You can help reduce your own waste by buying in bulk at places like Costco.
Once a material or finished product has served its intended use, it is then considered "post-consumer." Having completed its life as a consumer item, it can then be recycled. By insisting on packaging with high post-consumer recycled content, you'll help to increase the market for old newsprint and other tough-to-recycle stuff!
Wasted food is a growing problem in our modern society. In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated, with only 5.1 percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting. EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 21.6 percent of discarded municipal solid waste. To help reduce the amount of food waste going to the landfill, consider building your own compost bin or worm bin!
This change is almost too easy to make! Nix the wasteful coffee appliances, especially that Keurig, to purchase a more sustainable coffee maker. Then dump your coffee grounds in the compost, giving your pile a rich source of nitrogen.