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Reuse

There is no garbage. There are no landfills. There is no away. All materials remain part of a closed loop system. In nature, nothing is wasted. This is a new vision for an economy based on zero waste. 

Deconstruction is "up cycling" valuable old-growth lumber in the walls and floors of old homes in Cleveland

Three more tips for reusing

  • Use stale bread for croutons, crumbs, stuffing or french toast
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Use your own coffee mug when frequenting coffee shops

Vision

It is best to reduce first, reuse as a second option, then to resort to recycling. Reuse is recognized as being distinct from recycling, both in doctrine, and in the handling of the materials this unique industry diverts from the waste stream. Recyclers have successfully kept materials out of the landfill by collecting, segregating, processing and manufacturing their collected goods into new products. Reusers, on the other hand, with little or no processing, keep materials out the waste stream by passing the goods they collect on to others.

Environmental benefits

Many reuse programs have evolved from local solid waste reduction goals because reuse requires fewer resources, less energy, and less labor, compared to recycling, disposal, or the manufacture of new products from virgin materials. Reuse provides an excellent, environmentally-preferred alternative to other waste management methods, because it reduces air, water and land pollution, limits the need for new natural resources, such as timber, petroleum, fibers and other materials. The US Environmental Protection Agency has recently identified waste reduction as an important method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a contributing factor to global warming.

Community Benefits

For many years, reuse has been used as a critical way of getting needed materials to the many disadvantaged populations that exist. Reuse continues to provide an excellent way in which to get people the food, clothing, building materials, business equipment, medical supplies and other items that they desperately need. There are other ways, however, that reuse benefits the community. Many reuse centers are engaged in job-training programs, programs for the handicapped or at-risk youth programs.

Second hand stores in Cleveland


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Tips for reusing items:

  • Use fleamarkets and websites like eBay to sell and reuse items
  • Fill empty plastic bottles with water and freeze to use in coolers for picnics and camping
  • Save used paper as scrap for shopping lists, notes and drawing paper for children
  • Buy a lunch bag (or lunch box!) instead of using a paper bag
  • Reuse aluminum foil many times
  • Use sponges and towels in lieu of disposable paper towels
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