8 Smart Ways to Reduce and Reuse
By Amy Roberts
1. Reach for Reusable
One microfiber cloth can take the place of 60 rolls of paper towels before it needs replacing — and is gentle enough to use on nearly all surfaces (even eyeglasses). Keep a few handy for absorbing spills, wiping down counters, de-streaking mirrors, and more.
2. Mug Around
Bring your own travel cup to your favorite java joint: Most places will fill it for you, and often at a discount. While you're at it, start carrying a refillable water bottle.
3. Be a Jughead
If your program won't take milk or juice cartons (and your taste buds won't mind), try switching to brands that use plastic jugs, which are much more recyclable.
4. Hug a Tree, Virtually
Before you hit the "print" button for that party Evite or Web driving directions, consider your options: Could you print on the back side of paper you've already used once? Jot down just the address if you're going to a familiar area? Or maybe use the "note" feature on your cell phone? If you prefer not to print double-sided, the backs of cut-up, once-used printer sheets make excellent by-the-phone notepaper.
5. Refill 'Er Up
Many cleaning products are available in large jugs for decanting into the smaller spray bottles. Also, look for concentrated cleaner refills for which you can reuse the old spray bottle and just add the water, and "ultra" strength detergents, which save packaging because you get more laundry loads out of the container.
6. Switch Your Portable Power
It's hard to find a program that recycles one-use batteries, whereas rechargeable ones can and should be recycled — and never sent to a landfill, since they contain cadmium. Plus, you'll be buying less, since you can easily charge up the reusable kind many times before they die.
7. Dry-Clean Greener
You may already bring reusable bags to the grocery, but here's a way to waste less at the dry cleaner, too: The Clothesnik bag ($30 plus shipping, reuseniks.com) lets you tote clothes to the cleaners — and never have to deal with pesky plastic sheaths again.
8. Bulk Up
For foods that come in hard-to-recycle tubs (yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, margarine), get the largest-size container and dole into smaller reusable ones as needed. Then, use the tubs for freezing leftovers (just don't microwave in them, as most are not designed to handle the heat and could melt). Other uses: stashing desktop odds and ends, as planters for growing herbs, or kids' crayon storage.
Taken from this site.