Are you a Sorta?

Jun 23

Sustainable Travel Tips

Posted on June 23, 2022 at 12:54 PM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Sustainable travel tips

We often think about reuse as being something that we do at home but reuse outside of your home is important as well. When you are on the go, whether it’s out and about in your hometown or traveling greater distances, the opportunities to produce more waste are endless. With a little bit of planning, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste you produce.

When you are packing, whether it be your lunch for the day or for an extended stay somewhere, be sure to include reusable items like a coffee cup, water bottle, storage containers, utensils, and a reusable straw. I like to tuck a reusable napkin or bandana into my bag as well. Reusable shopping bags always come in handy. If you forgot your reusable bag, purchase one while travelling as a souvenir.

Be mindful of consumption while you travel, including packaging waste and single use items. When eating take away food, say no to extra napkins, utensils, and straws. Shop at local stores, eat at local restaurants/food trucks, and visit farmer’s markets to reduce your environmental impact and support the community. Also, be mindful of the souvenir purchases you make along the way. Avoid fast fashion and other cheaply made items and instead opt for locally made items or souvenirs crafted from sustainable materials.

Lastly, don’t forget to learn about recycling rules at your destination. Every region has different rules for what can go in the recycling bin. Small actions can have a big impact and with a little bit of planning you can greatly reduce the waste you produce while traveling.

Jun 17

Reuse: Storage & Organization Around the House

Posted on June 17, 2022 at 4:27 PM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Reuse StorageWith the cost of everything rising here are a few simple ways to reduce waste, reuse items, and save money!

We all have an image of an older person washing and rinsing out zip top storage bags. Kudos to you if you do this already. It turns out Grandma wasn’t wrong! Even if you wash and reuse each bag just once you are cutting down on your consumption by 50%. That means saving money, resources, and disposal space.

How many items do you place in your recycling bin that could be reused around the kitchen, cut down on waste disposal, and the need to purchase something new?

Why purchase expensive storage containers when you likely have items in your recycling bin that can do the same job? Sour cream, yogurt containers, glass jars, take-out containers, boxes from salad mixes can all be reused. I mean it makes sense, right? These items were used to store and transport food to your home, why can’t they continue to serve that purpose before being recycled?

Let’s look at some other items destined for disposal that might have a second use.

Cereal/Cracker box liners: use for piping bag for frosting, cut into squares and use to keep burger patties separated in a stack, use to wrap up homemade bread, rolls and buns before storing or freezing. Portion out leftovers and other foods and use a vacuum sealer to keep fresh. They are thicker than regular zip top storage bags and can often be used in place of.

Glass jars: great for storage and organizing. Pack up leftovers or use for drinks on the go. Use as flower vases or make a water candle (fill jar with water and fruit, flowers, herbs, or spices and put a floating candle on top).

Plastic bottles and jugs: fill with water and freeze to use in your cooler this summer. Not only will you be reusing something destined for the recycling bin, but you will save the plastic waste from buying a bag of ice.

Cardboard tubes: great for organizing extra cords, cables, and chargers. You can even label what they are for future reference.

Do you have a creative reuse idea? Let us know what it is! recycle@ontariocountyny.gov

Jun 09

Highlight Reuse this June

Posted on June 9, 2022 at 1:46 PM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

RRNY Reduce Reuse RecycleMost of us are familiar with the three R’s- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This month, we want to draw attention to the Second “R” - REUSE! There are many ways to participate in reuse, whether it is using a reusable item over and over again to replace a single-use one or giving another life to an object that would otherwise be thrown away. Like source reduction, REUSE helps to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and save money. How can you incorporate more REUSE in your life?

Single-use item pollution can really add up. “Approximately 530 billion disposable cups are used globally each year. Stacked end to end, these cups would go to the moon and back 85 times.” - source: upstream. When you choose a reusable drinking vessel over a disposable one, you are helping to conserve resources, energy and save money - win! This is but one example of how you can make REUSE a regular practice in your life and be an example to those around you.

We’ve all seen something perfectly good going into the trash - what a waste! Whether it is hosting or shopping at a garage sale, pulling over for that item with a “free” sign, bringing your no-longer-wanted clothes to a drop-box or local charity, or listing an item on craigslist or Facebook marketplace, there are many ways to reuse durable goods. By keeping the item in play, you just saved the fossil fuels, water, virgin materials, and energy that it took for that product to come to be.

You can be proud of the resource conservation you are involved in. Setting this example is an important part of normalizing reuse and welcoming it as we make strides towards a more circular economy. You can choose to reuse and be a part of the reuse revolution!

Adapted from #RecycleRightNY Resources