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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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29. Reuse And Respond

yard sale

Finding ways to reuse products takes both common sense and creativity. Here are a few ideas on how you can get double duty out of various products around the home.

If you can’t reuse a product yourself, find someone who can. Sell it in a yard sale, donate it to a community organization, or set up an exchange program. Call local elementary schools and day-care centers to find out what items might be useful. Local teachers may consider your trash to be treasure in the hands of creative youngsters.

public library

Consider donating books and magazines to public libraries or to nursing homes. If newspaper recycling is not an option in your area, check with local pet stores and animal shelters to see if they can use your discarded newspapers.
canvas bag

Reduce the number of paper and plastic bags your family uses by carrying reusable tote bags to grocery and department stores. Minimize use of paper towels, paper plates, and napkins. Invest in cloth napkins for everyday use, and choose reusable cloths, towels, and plates, rather than paper “throwaways.”
recharable batteries

Substitute rechargeable batteries for throwaway batteries. Avoid other single- or limited-use items, such as throwaway cleansing pads and cigarette lighters, non-refillable ink pens, and foil baking pans. Purchase beverages in refillable bottles.
reduce, recycle, reuse, respond

Reduce, recycle, and reuse are known as the three Rs of the waste-reduction movement. But a fourth R often is forgotten: Respond. You can refuse to buy packaging that you think is excessive, packaging that is not recyclable locally, or products that are harmful to the environment. When selecting a store, consider those that make good environmental choices.
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