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Ways to Reduce Waste

SMART Shopping
Reducing Unwanted Mail
Waste Reduction at the Workplace
Waste Reduction at School
Waste Reduction at Home

SMART Shopping

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. About one-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.

Smart Holiday Shopping Article

Look for least-waste packaging.
Buy in bulk, when practical.
Avoid disposable, single-use items.
Buy concentrates.
Buy long-lasting products that can be repaired.
At checkout, don't take a bag if you can do without.
Buy only what you need.
Rent or borrow instead of buying, this works great when you may only use the
item a few times.
Buy non-hazardous products.
Avoid aerosol cans.

Use cloth bags for shopping.
Reuse items such as bags, jars and plastic tubs.
Pack your lunch in reusable food containers.
Use rechargeable batteries.
Repair and maintain items instead of replacing them.
Use refillable, pump-spray bottles.
Buy milk and water in refillable 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.

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.

1. 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 or call 1(212) 768-7277.

2. Individual Mailers
Call, write, e-mail, 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."

3. Credit Offers
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






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