State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500569
Waste Reduction -- For Home and Office
What is Waste Reduction? Try the following hierarchy. It will help you
take the first step when making a waste reduction decision:
1. Source Reduction/Waste Prevention - what is it made of, can it be
recycled, do you really need it, how is it packaged
3. Recycling and Composting
Paper or Plastic; degradable or not; how does one decide?
Try following the packaging hierarchy:
1. No packaging; products which can be sold in bulk or without a
2. Minimal packaging
3. Consumable, returnable or refillable/reusable packaging
4. Recyclable packaging/packaging made from recyclable material
It is tough to be a "'green" consumer today, when nearly every company
is marketing its product as environmentally friendly. Every time you
make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions. It is up to you
to establish your own hierarchy, depending on your level of commitment,
lifestyle and budget.
- Is the package necessary, and is there an alternative?
- Is the product/package recyclable?
- Does the product contain toxic chemicals? Remember that many dyes and
inks, particularly bright yellows and red, may be toxic in large enough
- Does the manufacture of this product a toxic by- product?
- Is the product I'm purchasing a single-use item, or will it be
- Can this product (applies to appliances, etc.) be repaired?
Waste reduction can be contagious. With this premise in mind, we can
approach what seems to be an overwhelming problem, with a positive
attitude that we can"make a difference". We aren't going to solve the
waste problem overnight, but these simple steps can go a long way
towards affecting the public's attitudes and behavior.
Anti-junk Mail Campaign
Americans receive (and discard!) about 2 million tons of junk mail
every year about 44 percent of which is never opened or read! Your name
is "recyclable". Once it's on a list, it can be traded, rented or sold
to companies for other mailings... which can put you on another list
that's traded, rented or sold again. There are a number of ways to
significantly reduce the amount of mail you receive.
Preprinted post cards make it easy to respond quickly to senders of
To Whom it May Concern: In the interest of reducing waste, please:
Remove my address from your mailing list
Creditors: please limit your mailings to my monthly bill (no extra
Member Organizations: please limit your mailings to renewal notices and
All senders.: use recyclable/recycled paper wherever possible
All senders: your use of plastic windows for envelopes is preventing me
from recycling the envelope - there is a better way!
Mail order companies: Please reduce the number of catalogues you mail
to me each year. Please do not share my name and address with any other
companies or organizations under any circumstances.
Affix mailing label here
Here are some other ways to reduce junk mail:
- If you receive unsolicited offers that include a pre- paid envelope,
simply pack up the junk mail that came with it, insert into the
envelope and mail back to sender -- the sender pays the postage, AND
the cost of disposing of the waste!
- Use 800-numbers--especially for mail order catalogues -- to ask that
your name (or the previous tenant!) be removed from their mailing list.
Most are happy to comply.
- When you contribute money to a charitable organization ask that your
name not be shared with others. Simply write a friendly note right with
- When you order something, stipulate that you do not want your name
sold to other companies. Cut the problem at the source!
- Write: Mail Preference Service (MPS) Direct Marketing Association, 11
West 42nd Street, P.O. Box 3861, New York, NY 10163-3861
MPS can help stop your name from being sold to most large mailing list
companies, which could reduce your junk mail by as much as 75 percent!
Urge mail-order companies with whom you do business to eliminate
duplicate names, update old addresses and process their mailing lists
through the MPS to remove names of consumers who have registered with
the service to stop unsolicited mailings.
- K.D. Enviro-Ventures, Inc is offering the'"junk Mail Prevention Kit",
a 20-page booklet that tells consumers how to remove their names from
mailing lists, plus eight postcards and 88"return mail" stickers
($3.95); send request to 5235 Roland Drive, Indianapolis, Inc. 46208;
add $1 for postage.
The material was taken from a talk given by Michigan State University
Extension specialists, based on materials from Resource Recycling
to main page
This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension.
Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
MSU is an
employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
for webpage problems