We’ve all seen the recycling symbol above with the words “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”  But notice that the first strategy to manage our solid waste is to REDUCE.  That means reducing the amount of solid waste we produce. 

Here are just a few facts to get you started:

Reducing your waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  You can help decrease the gases and pollutants released into the environment from extractive industries like mining and logging, from production and transportation energy consumption, from incinerators, and from landfills.

Reducing your waste increases carbon storage. Avoiding unnecessary packaging, using less paper and cardboard produced from trees (as opposed to recycled fibers), and recycling paper and cardboard can leave more trees standing in the forest where they continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Reducing your waste reduces energy consumption. Making goods from recycled materials typically requires less energy than making goods from virgin materials. And reducing our energy consumption helps stabilize energy costs; reduces air pollution, harm to the natural environment and animals, and our reliance on fossil fuels; and makes our energy grids and costs less volatile.

Reducing your waste helps sustain our economy.  Pennsylvania’s recycling industry is responsible for supporting 26,000 jobs and $680 million in annual employee earnings. Overall, the industry contributes more than $4.2 billion per year to the Pennsylvania economy in jobs, salaries, and spending. 

Reducing your waste creates jobs. Recycling creates an average of nine times more jobs than trash disposal. Composting creates at least twice as many jobs as landfilling and four times as many jobs as incinerating our trash. Reuse through donating unused items that are repaired and marketed creates as many as 30 times more jobs than disposing of those goods in landfills. 

Are you ready to learn some simple ways of reducing your waste? Just click on any icon below to learn more.