New Year’s Waste Reduction Resolutions (Part 2)
Happy New Year from the Recycling Office at the University of Michigan! The Recycling blog has released a new set of waste reduction resolutions for the environmentally conscious citizen in 2017! Check out last year’s resolutions for more ways to make 2017 greener.
Super Easy Resolutions
Pair every trash bin in your home with a recycling bin. Update your home for the New Year by making sure every trash can has a complementary recycling bin. These extra recycling bins can be small or large depending on the room. Place a large bin in shared spaces and use something small like a shoe box to fit under a personal desk. This New Year resolution will make recycling much more convenient! It may also encourage family members or roommates who are new to recycling.
Learn what’s recyclable on campus and tell a friend! The standardization of recycling, compost, and landfill bin signs across campus makes knowing what’s recyclable easier than ever! The University accepts almost all recyclables, though there are a few exceptions that you should pay attention to, such as disposable coffee cups, glass, and biodegradable plastics. Check out www.recycle.umich.edu to get a full list of what can and cannot be recycled on campus. Let your friends know too!
Find out how to mend and properly care for clothing and other belongings. Dedicate some time in the new year to learning how to sew on a button or to stitch tears in clothing and backpacks. These skills will make your clothing last longer and they might even help you out in a last minute wardrobe malfunction. You can also make clothing last longer by hanging clothes to dry rather than using an electric dryer. This saves energy and reduces the amount of dryer sheets thrown away.
Audit your refrigerator. Everyone wastes some food, so join the effort to reduce food waste in 2017. Stick a note on your fridge and keep track of any food that goes from the fridge to the trash (or compost bin). Use that list to better plan your shopping trips!
Go vegetarian. For one or two days a week this year, prepare only vegetarian meals. Not only will this help out with your other resolutions to make 2017 a little healthier, it will also reduce the amount of packaging you throw out. Fresh fruits and veggies are often less packaged than meats and other foods in the grocery store. Take this waste reduction resolution to the next level by bringing reusable bags when grocery shopping.
Commit to your thermos. Prepare to become inseparable with your reusable thermos or travel mug because 2017 is the year to eliminate disposable coffee cups from your life. Keep a reusable mug at work and a travel mug in your bag or backpack to make sure you stick with your resolution.
Full Fledged Commitment Resolutions
Recycle your electronics. Gather your old electronics and take them to your nearest e-waste (electronic waste) recycler. If your city doesn’t provide e-waste recycling, store them in a bin until this spring when U-M hosts its annual free e-Waste Recycling Event.
Stop using paper towels. Replace paper towels with reusable cloth towels. If you use paper towels for cleaning, then switch them with cut out rags made from old clothing.
Do a personal waste audit. Collect all your trash and recyclables for a day, but don’t hold on to food waste-- you can just keep note of the food that you do compost or throw out. Find out what you're throwing away most frequently and personalize your new year’s resolution to eliminate or reduce the use of those items over this year.