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Every time you throw something away, ask yourself if it could have been replaced by something reusable like a sturdy container or cloth rag. You'll soon find yourself collecting and using reusable items for many common tasks that once required disposable materials. You can also extend your garbage-awareness to your work place. Advocate for a double-sided printer, for instance, if you work in an office. A convincing letter to your boss (if you're not the boss) might convince him or her that the amount of money saved in paper will eventually pay for the printer. When you go to the grocery store, bring your own bags instead of using paper or plastic. Consumers often wonder which of the two is better; the answer is: neither. When shopping for smaller items, tell the clerk not to give you a bag (frequently their default action) if you can simply carry the item in your hand. Buy durable, quality items that will last and lend themselves to repair when broken. When things do break, remember that fixing is almost always cheaper than replacing, and you'll have the satisfaction of minimizing your garbage output. When you no longer need something, give it away instead of throwing it away. Organizations like The Salvation Army will gladly accept almost any used household item. Remember that Benjamin Franklin's maxim, "A penny saved is a penny earned," goes for the environment, too. Every time we reuse something, we've saved another like it from having to be made. Every time we recycle something, we've saved energy, pollution, and the materials from being mined from our natural resources.…
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