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This month, we challenge you to take the ultimate waste reduction test. Can you limit your waste to a one-gallon kitchen bag for a month? We think you can! Sign up today for August’s  #30DayCarbonChallenge!

(And don’t worry, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks to help you cut your waste all month long!)

Going waste-free isn’t just good for the environment. It saves you money, is better for your health, and helps de-clutter your home. So how exactly can you achieve this waste reduction challenge?

Remember the following 5 R’s:

  • REFUSE - Simply say no to the waste that can accumulate in your life. Styrofoam? Never! A straw in your drink? No thanks! Those free pencils that always end up clogging your junk drawer? Pass.

 

  • REDUCE - Less is more. Buy only what you need and use only what you buy! For instance, why spend money on bottled water, that might end up in the ocean like this? Instead, try bringing your own coffee mug or water bottle (you might even score a discount or free refill at some coffee shops!).

 

  • REUSE - Ask yourself, is there another use for what you’re about to throw away? Old jars can be turned into brilliant planters, worn down clothes can be used as cleaning rags, and yesterday’s newspaper can be turned into creative wrapping paper.

 

  • RECYCLE - If you can’t reduce it and you can’t reuse it, recycle it! From glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, to batteries, printer cartridges, and old phones, just about everything can be recycled these days. Find out more about recycling at home.

 

  • ROT - Make sure none of your organics go to waste and turn them into compost instead. From yard waste to food scraps to pet bedding, so much can be converted into soil for your garden. Check out the City's very own community composting program - Project Oscar; and for those not living in East Boston or the North End, stay tune as we are exploring ways to expand the program to more neighborhoods soon!

 

By participating in this waste reduction challenge (or simply giving these 5 R’s a try!), you are contributing to the City’s efforts towards reducing waste and consumption, as part of the 2014 Climate Action Plan. The City aims to launch a comprehensive planning process to identify strategies, which could include more robust recycling and waste diversion policies, to move the city toward waste- and litter-free. And on the ground, the Greenovate Boston team continues looking for resources and best practices on reducing waste to share with community members . In addition, we also strive to “walk the talk” by incorporating waste reduction into our own activities and events. In fact, we successfully organized both the Climate Action Plan Launch in January and the Community Summit in June to be zero-waste events. This means that more than 90% of all waste created during the event is diverted from the landfill by recycling, composting, or reusing.

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Feeling inspired to go waste-free? Host or attend the Greenovate Boston Community Yard Sale on August 8th and 9th. The weekend-long event promotes the reuse and recycling of goods. You can help us reduce the amount of bulk waste sent to the curb, meet your neighbors, and enjoy a summer day outside.

For more ideas on how to reduce waste at home, at work, and in your community, check out our resource pages!


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