Long Island Scrap Metal

5 Simple Recycling and Conservation Tips

You can stretch your monthly budget and reduce your carbon footprint by following these five simple recycling and conservation tips. These small lifestyle changes can make a big difference!

1. Embrace Reusable Coffee Mugs and Water Bottles — Instead of plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups, choose refillable stainless steel, aluminum or bioplastic bottles and mugs. This can help you save on bottled water and reduce the colossal number of plastic bottles that are either disposed in landfills or littered. Businesses are encouraging customers to make this switch from disposable plastic and paper cups to reusable travel mugs. For example, if you bring a reusable mug to Starbucks, you can get a 10-cent discount on any beverage.

2. Make the Switch to Low-Energy Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs — If you haven’t already switched to compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, you should definitely consider doing so. LED and CFL light bulbs are so energy-efficient that they can pay for themselves in electricity within a year! These bulbs use only a fraction of the electricity that traditional light bulbs require.

3. Say "No” to Unnecessary Receipts — Think twice the next time you’re confronted with the choice of whether or not to accept a receipt from a gas station, the ATM or anywhere else. Receipts make up a large portion of the litter found on our streets and sidewalks and, with more convenient electronic options available, most of these paper receipts are unnecessary.

4. Switch to Reusable Shopping Bags — Plastic bags are one of the top debris items found in coastal cleanups. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the United States every year, with most of them ending up in our oceans. With alternatives such as reusable shopping bags, there is no reason to add to the plastic waste that is polluting our waters. Next time a cashier asks if you would like a bag, think twice before answering. Many retail stores offer incentives to replace disposable shopping bags with more eco-friendly alternatives. For example, CVS offers a "green bag tag” to attach to your reusable bag. By showing this tag at the counter, you can earn $1 to spend in the store every fourth visit.

5. Start a Compost Pile — No healthy garden is complete without a compost pile. Compost acts as a conditioner for the soil, helping the earth and plants stay healthy by providing vital nutrients. Table scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds and cardboard are all suitable for your compost pile. By composting, you will also save money on fertilizers.