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Recycling Toolkit | Green Purchasing, 3Rs

Recycling Toolkit

Green Purchasing, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling Tips

Revised On: Nov. 28, 2023 - 12:44 p.m.

Green Purchasing

To most effectively extend the life of products, purchase items that can easily be recycled, that have recycled content or that have been certified as sustainable (FSC Wood, Cradle to Cradle Certified). In addition to conserving resources, green purchasing can also save you money. For example, remanufactured printer ink cartridges cost significantly less than new catridges. The following provides some options for green purchasing:


The number one way to reduce the amount of waste created is to not create it in the first place. The production of new materials requires resources and energy to develop a final product and transport it to its final destination. By reducing the amount of trash we generate, we can reduce pollution, save energy and money, and decrease the amount of waste to be recycled or landfilled.

Ways to Reduce Waste
  • Take care of your current belongings with regular maintenance and/or repair to extend the life of the product.
  • Share, borrow or rent items you may not need on a regular basis.
  • Buying in bulk and using reusable containers actually uses less packaging than purchasing individual containers.
  • Evaluate your family’s purchasing habits. Do you regularly end up with things you don’t really need? A little more planning before going to the store will help reduce unnecessary purchases.


Another way to create less waste is to reuse or repurpose used items. This helps reduce pollution, save energy and money, and decrease the amount of waste generated.

Ways to Reuse Items
  • Donate older items to a local donation center to extend the use of your items while taking advantage of tax benefits.
  • Buy used items and give them new life.
  • Buy reusable items, such as reusable water bottles and shopping bags, to prevent single-use waste.
  • Think creatively to make something useful out of other items. For instance, create a table from an old door or use pallets as a planter in your yard.


Recycling allows for the collection and remanufacture of material that would be buried in a landfill or incinerated. Some items, such as glass and steel, can be recycled indefinitely. Recycling helps reduce waste sent to landfills, develop new industries, and conserve natural resources by bypassing the need to harvest new raw materials that may be in limited supply and require damaging extraction processes | View Recycling Locator >