Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Recycling is great. But reducing your waste in the first place is an even better way to put the lid on your trash and conserve resources. By focusing on waste at home, work, or school, you help significantly lower carbon emissions and other environmental impacts associated with extracting virgin materials, manufacturing products, and waste disposal.
Find a printable list of waste prevention, composting, reuse, and recycling resources for Lake Oswego residents and businesses and other resources below.
What Is Waste Prevention?
Waste prevention is reducing the amount of solid waste we make that would need to be recycled or put into the garbage. Waste prevention means using fewer materials to do the same job, buying and using products containing recycled materials, reusing materials before they get recycled or thrown away, and purchasing products that use less materials and energy.
Here are some waste prevention ideas for your household or business:
- Buy in bulk or choose the larger size. Avoid purchasing items with excessive or hard-to-recycle packaging.
- Choose products and containers with recycled content. For paper products, chose those with the highest "post-consumer" recycled content.
- Carry a reusable cup or mug. At your business, provide durable dishware for customers and employees.
- Use cloth napkins, sponges, and dishcloths instead of the paper alternatives.
- Use cloth bags for shopping or reuse brown paper bags.
- Buy quality durable goods; they last longer.
- Borrow, rent, or share items used infrequently, like ladders, carpet cleaners, and roto-tillers.
- Take action to reduce unwanted mail. Metro provides an extensive list of contacts to help you opt-out of junk mail.
Carry a water bottle: conserve water resources and reduce plastic waste
Plastic water bottles seem like a convenient way to stay hydrated, but they pose an enormous waste problem and put restraints on our public water supplies. Here are a few reasons to consider carrying a reusable water bottle:
- Buy local! Bottled water has a very high carbon footprint throughout its lifecycle. From extraction, bottling, bottle production, transportation and disposal, bottled water places heavy pressure on natural resources. Additionally, bottle caps cannot be recycled, further adding to our waste burden. Enjoy the safe, clean tap water you have access to in the City of Lake Oswego!
- New, reusable water bottles are made with BPA-free plastics and stainless steel. Customize your water bottle to make it your new favorite accessory! Take it with your everywhere you go. REI, New Seasons, The Bike Gallery and Lakeside Bicycles all sell a variety of water bottles to meet your every need.
- But where can you fill it up?! This is no longer a problem! Filling stations are commonplace and provide you with fresh, cold water.
- I can't take it with me when I travel, attend events, etc! PDX has filling stations in the Northwest TravelMart once you have made it through TSA, and the Portland Timbers allow you to bring in empty water bottles to refill at filling stations located within the gates. If you are traveling abroad, camping or going anywhere where tap water is not reliable, consider purchasing a product like the SteriPen to purify water using your own water bottle.
- Do you use plastic water bottles at work? Consider asking your employer to create branded water bottles for employees- these can be popular giveaways for contests, employees of the month, or new hire gifts. Added bonus for your employer? Great marketing!