Reduce, Reuse & Refuse

So? What about Recycling? The reasons for termination of Silver City's curbside recycling program are numerous and, in many respects, complicated. However, it comes down to this: The global supply of recyclable materials – plastic, paper, and glass in particular – exceeds the global demand.

So! Enter Cut Your Waste, Grant County! Our local campaign mission is to help us all reduce waste and find effective and sustainable recycling methods and programs. We hope to expand the campaign and glad to hear your feedback -

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Good Ideas to Reduce Your Waste

Some ziplocks – like those used to store left over spaghetti sauce! – can be pretty gnarly. Many, however, can be washed, dried, and reused. To dry them, one good idea is to turn them inside-out, and clip them to your dish rack w/ a clothespin.
Loose tea – many flavors of which are available at the Food Co-op and Bear Creek Herbs – is less expensive than bagged tea and reduces waste (no need for tea bags, string, and the boxes in which they’re packaged).
Both near new and brand new clothes and house wares are available at our area thrift stores. You name it, you can probably find it at Our Paws Cause, Town & Country, Single Socks, and Re-Store.
Finished reading your National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, or Rolling Stone? No need to relegate it to the land fill just yet! How about passing it along to a friend or neighbor? And speaking of thrift stores, many local second-hand stores accept donations of clean magazines and then offer them to patrons free-of-charge.
All of Silver City’s thrift stores donate their proceeds to charitable causes. Supporting these stores with our donations is much preferred to relegating our wares to the landfill.
Speaking of periodicals, did you know that the Daily Press, Silver City Sun News, Grant County Beat, and Desert Exposure all offer on-line versions of their newspapers? The ecological benefits of the on-line version over the print version of the paper are too numerous to list.
In 2017, on average, each American used 153 plastic bottles. In Silver City that works out to about 1.5 million bottles . . . last year alone! Yes, most of us need to drink more water. As an alternative to disposable plastic bottles, how about we filter our own water and carry a reusable plastic (e.g., Nalgene) or stainless steel bottle? Yaaay!
Make reusable tote bags something that you carry with you all the time . . . as automatic as your wallet, purse, car keys, and your Sponge Bob Square Pants bobble head doll. (OK, maybe not Sponge Bob, but you get the idea!).
Every single action we engage in has a ripple effect; some of the ripples are good, some bad, some neutral. And so it is with our actions of consuming. Before purchasing or ordering something, stop and ask, “Why am I making this purchase? Do I really need this? Is there a better, lower impact alternative? Who is affected by this purchase?”
When you’re on the run and ordering a coffee or tea to go, bring your own thermo mug. Our friendly baristas at Javalina, Jumping Cactus, and Tranquil Buzz will all happily accommodate you. Related idea: If you’re going to have your bevy “in-house,” order it in a “for here” cup.
Can’t finish your dinner (or lunch) but want to take the rest home with you? Avoid the styrofoam, foil, plastic, and go-bags by brining your own container with you when you go out to eat.
Save a Kleenex (and the trees from which they come) by carrying a handkerchief with you. Hankies too fuddy-duddy for you? A bandana will suffice just fine!
Did you know that you can purchase honey in bulk from the Silver City Food Co-op? You can, along with almond butter, coffee, dish soap, and many other household staples. Bring your own container and get more conservation bang-for-your-buck!
Some of your important documents need to be printed on virgin, un-used paper . . . we get that. Some of your documents aren’t quite so important, right? Rather than land-filling or recycling them, how about saving and printing on the clean side of your used 8 1/2 X 11” sheets for printing?
Speaking of one-sided sheets of paper, these can be cut into quarters or 1/8’s and, along w/ a good-old paperclip, can replace your post-it notes.
White paper napkins for dining at home? Ho hum. Instead, what about some fun, colorful . . . dare we say festive cloth napkins?! Cloth napkins aren’t easy to come by, you say? Bandanas will work just as well. Double down on your conservation aspirations and purchase them from an area thrift store!
By bringing your own lunch, not only do you maintain control over the quality and quantity of your meal, but you also get to minimize the waste. Say goodbye to plastic eating utensils and un-needed packaging . . . and say “so long” to rushing out into traffic in order to find something to eat!
It just doesn’t get any more convenient that Amazon, no doubt about it. However, with all due respect to the members of Amazon Nation, purchasing from the on-line giant results in a lot of waste. Those cardboard boxes in which the products are packaged . . . they don’t grow on trees! Then there’s the packing material, the gas for the UPS truck, and . . . . well, you get the idea. Does Ace Hardware, Albertson’s, or the Gila Hike & Bike carry what you’re looking for?

Mindful Consumption

Voting with your dollars. “Precycling.” Being completely conscious when making a purchase decision (or deciding to forego a purchase).

These are examples of a new wave of positive consumerism called Mindful Consumption:

Methods & Programs

Common-sense ways and education resources to reduce the amount of waste you put into your trash bin with ideas and resources from community members and respected sources, for example: