8 easy ways you can help the environment

(BPT) – We all want to take care of the environment. If you’re looking for some simple steps to lighten your environmental footprint, check out these eight easy ways (related to plastics) to help reduce waste.

Know what to throw: It’s important to know what—and what not—to throw in recycling bins. Learn which plastics are recyclable through community websites and local recycling companies. Another option is to visit iwanttoberecycled.org to find out what you can recycle locally.

Recycle more at home: Most people are pretty good about remembering to recycle plastics in the kitchen, but what about plastics used in other rooms in the home? Recyclable plastics often are used throughout the house, such as bottles in the bathroom (shampoo), jugs in the garage (windshield wiper fluid), and containers in the laundry room (detergent). All of these are widely recycled. Remember to include the caps!

Recycle more outside the home: Look for recycling bins at sports stadiums, parks, and beaches. If you can’t find one, it’s easy to hang on to your soft drink bottles, yogurt cups, and other containers and carry them back home so you can recycle them.

Select lighter packaging: Lots of everyday items are sealed in super thin, lightweight plastic packaging to lighten up on the environment. Less material can mean less packaging waste, and lighter weight can result in less fuel use and fewer emissions to transport food and other products.

Protect leftovers: Food waste is a big problem with huge environmental consequences. Reduce food waste by promptly refrigerating leftovers in airtight storage containers or zipper bags. These help seal out air and moisture to help food last longer so it can be eaten rather than thrown away.

Buy recycled: It’s easier than ever to find high-quality products made with recycled plastics, from kitchen tools to clothing to carpeting. Burying used plastics in a landfill is a waste of valuable materials—fortunately, today more and more plastics are living another life in a variety of items such as resilient fleece jackets, fun playground equipment, or gorgeous backyard decks.

Seal your home: Help the environment and reduce your energy bill by taking simple steps to stop air leaks in your home, typically found around doors and windows. From weather stripping to caulking to insulating spray foam in a can, many plastic building products can help seal out that unwanted air.

Focus on fuel efficiency: Drivers of today’s modern cars are participating in a far-reaching, ongoing effort to reduce fuel use and emissions: lightweighting. Automakers have been increasingly turning to lightweight, tough plastics to reduce the weight of cars and trucks, which can dramatically improve miles per gallon – good news for the environment and your wallet. (Many automakers even use recycled plastics.) Of course, taking other steps such as maintaining proper tire pressure can further reduce fuel use and emissions.

For even more tips on lightening your environmental footprint, visit www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com.

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