Before entering a store remember to be a SMART shopper. SMART stands for Saving Money and Reducing Trash. According to the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, each person in Minnesota generates about 4 pounds of garbage a day. Almost half of our household waste comes from the packaging we buy. While packaging is sometimes necessary for health and shelf life reasons, packaging can be excessive. If you consider the alternatives before you buy, you can save money and reduce waste.
Buy milk and water in refillable bottles
Pack your lunch in reusable food containers
Repair and maintain items instead of replacing them
Reuse items such as bags, jars and plastic tubs
Use cloth bags for shopping
Use rechargeable batteries
Use refillable, pump-spray bottles
Buy readily recyclable products and participate in the Otter Tail County Recycling Program
Buy recycled products - the recycling loop is not closed until we purchase products made from recycled materials.
At checkout, don't take a bag if you can do without
Avoid aerosol cans
Avoid disposable, single-use items
Buy in bulk, when practical
Buy long-lasting products that can be repaired
Buy non-hazardous products
Buy only what you need
Look for least-waste packaging
Rent or borrow instead of buying, this works great when you may only use the item a few times
Reducing Unwanted Mail
There are 3 easy steps to reduce unwanted mail. Be aware that most of these steps take 6 - 8 weeks to go into effect.
Mail Preference Service
Households can significantly reduce their advertising mail by registering with the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. For more information, go online at DMA Consumers or call 1 212-768-7277.
Call, write, email, or use web sites. Sample language: "Please remove my name from your marketing database. In addition, please do not pass along my name to others through mail list sales or trades. Thank you for your cooperation."
The nation's major consumer credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union - have established a toll free number to get off lists for preapproved credit card offers. The recording will ask for your social security number, full name,
address and telephone number. 1-888-5-OPTOUT or 1-888-567-8688