One of the first places you can begin to make environmentally responsible decisions is when making purchases. Whether you are purchasing items for home or buisness these tips still apply. The first thing you want to think about is the packaging of the product; ideally you want to buy the item with the least amount of extra packaging. The next thing you can look at is its recycled content. For example; most paper products are available with recycled content. Post-consumer recycled content means that the materials were recycled from us, the consumer, and not from a manufacturing industry. So the higher the post-consumer recycled content the better. The federal government uses a minumum of 30% post-consumer recycled paper office products. Set a similar standard for yourself. Paper products are available with up to 100% post-consumer content. Another good practice it to purchase an item that can be used more than once. If you are purchasing paper towels for your home consider buying a few hand towels instead. You may have to wash them often but you are not generating more waste for the landfills. The same is true with most disposable products that are out there. The final consideration when making purchases would be recycling or disposal options. Can the item be composted or recycled instead of throwing it in your household garbage. Consider your local recycling options; for instance my city doesn’t have curb-side recycling and we have to drop it off at a recycling center down the road. The nearest recycling center doesn’t take glass but they do take aluminum and plastic. So when making my purchases I would rather buy things packaged in aluminum or plastic instead of glass since I can recycle them easier. For more tips on buying green products you can visit the Earth911 shopping page.
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