3 Simple Steps to Help Protect the Environment

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Simple eco-friendly changes to your daily routines can help the planet. (Photo by: lady_in_red13 | iStock via Getty Images Plus)
Simple eco-friendly changes to your daily routines can help the planet. (Photo by: lady_in_red13 | iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Each American throws out about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By incorporating the “Three Rs” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) into routines, you can help divert some of this waste away from landfills to help protect the environment.

Here are a few ideas for changing your habits to be more eco-friendly:

Reduce

Up to 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is wasted, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition to the unnecessary strain on water and land resources, the excess food that ends up in landfills produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.

By carefully planning before going to the grocery store, you will be more likely to purchase only what you and your family will realistically eat. Even smart shoppers can reduce the amount of unavoidable food waste they produce by starting a composting bin at home. You can turn today’s fruit peels, eggshells and tea leaves into tomorrow’s fertile soil for your garden.

Reuse

There are many ways you can incorporate the “reuse” concept into your food routines. At the grocery store, bring your own reusable tote bag to avoid single-use plastic at checkout. Take this concept a step further with refillable containers, which can be used to stock up on bulk foods. While bulk foods have been a feature of certain supermarkets for years, many stores are expanding their offerings and taking precautions to keep these systems safe and hygienic for customers, making it easier for the eco-conscious to shop sustainably.

When packing lunches for the family, ditch the single-use baggies, utensils and sandwich wraps and switch to reusable BPA-free, eco-friendly alternatives.

Finally, when it comes to hydration, you can make a huge impact simply by stocking your fridge with a water filter pitcher and by bringing along a high-quality reusable water bottle with you on-the-go.

Recycle

Thanks to packaging innovations, there are now essential items you can recycle for the first time.

For example, until recently, toothpaste tubes haven’t been recyclable because most are made of a mixed material that doesn’t have a second life. Now, you can recycle your toothpaste tube with a first-of-its-kind recyclable tube from Tom’s of Maine. Several of the brand’s popular toothpastes are available in the new tube, with all full size Tom’s of Maine toothpastes available in the recyclable tube by the end of 2020.

To recycle the tube at home, check the back for the blue flag, which indicates that the toothpaste tube can be placed in your recycle bin with #2 plastics. If your town doesn’t accept #2 plastic, you can recycle your toothpaste tubes and other oral and personal care products, regardless of the brand, through the Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program with TerraCycle. To learn more, visit TomsOfMaine.com.

By making simple, eco-conscious changes in your daily routine, you can take meaningful steps toward helping protect the environment.

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