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Reduce, reuse and recycle

Recycling symbol

There are many steps you can take to help you save money as well as doing your bit to help the environment, and many of these start at home. 

Becoming more aware of the waste you produce is an important place to start and these pages will give you some suggestions of the actions you can take to help reduce, reuse and recycle even more of your waste.

Reduce waste

Reducing waste is the most environmentally-friendly option compared with reuse and recycling. It requires no energy, uses no resources, creates no waste and even saves money.

You can reduce your waste by:

  • Thinking before you buy - try and buy products with less packaging.
  • If you really need to print out work make sure that you print on both sides of the paper or use the unprinted side for scrap.
  • Buy products sold in refill packs or concentrated products.
  • Use low energy light bulbs and rechargeable batteries.
  • Try not to pick up a plastic bag every time you buy something from the shop.
  • Try to avoid individually packed biscuits or sweets.
  • Use real nappies.

Reuse waste

After reducing waste and buying only things you need reuse is the next step. Although many will view recycling on par with reuse there is no energy involved with reuse apart from finding out who could make good use of it.

You can reuse your waste by:

  • Buying milk from the milkman. Each glass milk bottle can be reused up to 20 times.
  • Go to the shops with a reusable shopping bag instead of taking plastic bags from every shop.
  • Use envelopes again by putting a sticker over the previous address - remember you will need to put new stamps on it!
  • Always use both sides of a piece of paper before you recycle it.
  • Reuse old paper that can not be written on any more to make papier mache models or even your own recycled paper.
  • Use plastic margarine and yoghurt pots for paint and glue or for growing seeds.
  • Use refillable pens instead of disposable ones.
  • Take old clothes, books and toys to charity shops or use exchange sites such as freecycle and virtual skips.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries and refillable print cartridges.

Give away your unwanted items

Why not consider giving away your unwanted items for others to reuse...

Freegle is an online service which allows you to get and give unwanted items for free from residents within your local community to help keep potential reusable items out of the waste system.

For more information on giving away your items and how to join the community visit I Love Freegle - Preston Freegle Group.

To find out what residents are giving away in Preston currently visit I Love Freegle - Preston items.  

Alternatively, you can donate your unwanted items to local charities, a number of which will collect free of charge.

Recycle waste

Recycling is the final part to the waste hierarchy. After reducing and reusing recycling is the next step to help the environment. Recycling conserves resources, provides thousands of jobs and allows recyclable material to be used hundreds of times, also saving energy.

For a useful list of items you can and can't put in your recycling bins see what can I put in my recycling bins and boxes?

As well as using your recycling bins you can recycle even more of your waste by using a home composter visit get composting for more information or visiting your local recycling centres (tip)

Reduce, reuse, recycle this Christmas

For top tips on reducing, reusing and recycling your Christmas items this Christmas see reduce, reuse, recycle this Christmas.

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