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Posts tagged ‘reusable’

Earth Day Impact: Reduce & Reuse

Are you wondering what you can do to reduce your impact this Earth Day — and every day?

More than 1,300 tons of garbage is buried in the Salt Lake Valley Landfill every day. Here are a few simple things you can do to limit your impact.

Reusable Products

reusable bagDitch the disposables! Embrace reusable bags when you go to the grocery store.

Say goodbye to expensive and wasteful plastic water bottles. Instead, swap in a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle. You can even purchase an insulated version to keep your drinks cool on hot summer days. Salt Lake City’s TapIt program boasts a network of businesses that will refill your bottle with fresh water, too!

And speaking of drinks, bring a reusable coffee mug to your local coffee shop. You’ll even get a discount on your next latte!

Avoid Overpackaging

Sure, those individually packaged mini carrots may save you a few seconds when you are packing lunches in the morning, but is that worth the extra money and wasted material?

Save some green and reduce your weekly waste by buying a large package instead, and placing them in reusable containers each day. More tips to green your lunch.

Reduce Junk Mail

We all get it, and we all hate it.

GlobalStewards.org has some tips to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. In a few simple steps, you can cut out mass marketing mailers, catalogs and credit card offers!

You can also reduce your impact by going “paperless” for your monthly credit card, bank and utility statements.

Just getting started? Get more tips at SLCgreen.com.

We stopped by KUTV2 News on Earth Day to share these tips. Watch the video of the segment!

 

Tips to Green Your Lunchbox

Fall is in the air!

With kids heading back to school, Salt Lake City parents will once again be packing lunches for them. Which makes it the perfect time for SLCgreen to share our tips for a healthy and waste-free packed lunched!

[VIDEO: Check out our segment with KUTV 2News This Morning]

1. Food First

ChooseMyPlate.gov has a lot of helpful advice on food groups, including suggestions on variety and tips to help you (and your kids) eat more fruits and vegetables. Check out the fantastic 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook containing 54 winning recipes from America’s junior chefs (PDF).

Did you know that the average meal travels 1500 miles to reach your plate? Local food travels shorter distances and therefore has a lower environmental impact. Consider sourcing your ingredients from local producers – Farmers Markets are a great place to start.

2. Ditch the Disposables & Save Money

Let’s compare the cost of a reusable lunch versus one that uses disposable goods. Learn more from WasteFreeLunches.org.

A Disposable Lunch

1 egg salad sandwich $1.25
1 yogurt .85
1 granola bar .45
1 apple .30
1 package of carrots and dip .65
3 plastic bags .12
1 juice pouch .35
1 plastic spoon .04
1 paper napkin .01
TOTAL $4.02
A Waste-free Lunch

1 egg salad sandwich $1.25
1 serving of yogurt .50
1 serving of granola .35
1 apple .30
1 serving of carrots and dip .25
water 0
cloth napkin 0
stainless steel spoon 0
packaging 0
TOTAL $2.65

With a waste free lunch, you can save $246.60 per person per year!

3. Get the Gear

Our friends at Earth Goods General Store have all the supplies you need to gear up for your reusable lunch. Their store has moved to a new location on 327 E 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City. You can also find them on Facebook. 

Here’s our suggested shopping list:

  • Lunch tote
  • Cloth napkins
  • Water bottle (we prefer stainless steel)
  • Glass, plastic or metal bento box-type containers in a variety of sizes for veggies, dips, etc.
  • Reusable sandwich bags
  • You can even pick up a book or two full of healthy lunch ideas!

Before “Recycle” Comes…

Recycle Symbol on Paper

Reduce and Reuse!

Did you know that over 1,300 tons of garbage is buried in the Salt Lake Valley Landfill every day?

Salt Lake City residents already have access to no less than four waste bins (garbage, mixed recycling, compost/yard waste and glass). Proper use of these bins is crucial to waste diversion, which is a technical term that basically means that the more waste we recycle in one form or another, the less garbage fills up the landfill.

But before recycling comes reduce and reuse. Everyone can reduce waste by incorporating some simple choices in their everyday shopping patterns.

Strategies include:

  • Reusing items more frequently
  • Buying items that last longer (skip the disposables)
  • Not buying items you don’t need (save waste AND money)
  • Paying attention to excessive packaging on items

We have some great tips on reusable products like water bottles and tote bags, reducing junk mail and environmentally preferable purchasing on our SLCGreen website.

Do you have any questions? Let us know!