Reduce is the first option in the waste management hierarchy and it is the first step you can take to help protect our environment. Before you purchase a product, evaluate the life-cycle of the product you are purchasing. What will the product be used for; how long it will be used and what will happen to it when you are done being used?
Reducing our consumption of nonessential products will help to ensure natural resources are preserved, litter is prevented, materials will not unnecessarily end up in the landfill and global carbon emissions will be reduced. To put it simply, if you don’t need it; don’t buy it.
Waste reduction is not a new concept for our country. During World War II, Americans were encouraged to support the troops through conservation. Americans reduced demand for food by growing “victory gardens,” conserved fuel by ride sharing, and limited consumption of new goods by repairing broken items.
Consumers, including yourself, play an important role in the future of waste reduction. Consumers have the power to drive innovation at businesses by requesting products that have been designed intentionally through life-cycle assessments. Consumers can voice their opinions to businesses in a variety of ways including emailing their customer service, direct messaging them through social media or calling their corporate headquarters. By, using your voice and your purchasing power, you can help drive demand for businesses to do their part to recreate the design of products to reduce waste and using recycled materials in their products.
- Reduce While Shopping
- When shopping, avoid unnecessary packaging by purchasing bulk amounts and not using plastic bags for produce.
Reuse helps reduce carbon emissions by decreasing the demand to make and ship new items. When purchasing an item, consider the life expectancy of the products being purchased and where they will end up once discarded. Before buying new, try renting or buying used items at thrift and resale shops. Lincoln and Lancaster County have a wide variety of stores to choose from. See the list below for additional ideas.
- Consider adding these reusable items to your daily routine:
- water bottle
- coffee mug
- food container
- shopping bag
Clothing, Housewares and Miscellaneous
- Blessings and More Thrift Store | 402-450-3577
- Bud’s Thrift Shoppe | 402-420-5697
- Cause for Paws | 402-420-5758
- Community Action Partnership | 402-471-4515
- Goodwill | 402-438-2022
- Habitat for Humanity Restore | 402-464-0010
- Home & Closet | 402-474-5407
- OMT! Divine Women’s Resale | 402-423-2066
- People’s City Mission | 402-475-6888
- Plato’s Closet | 402-420-2440
- Play it Again Sports | 402-483-7447
- Ruby Begonias | 402-438-4438
- Salvation Army | 402-466-5052
- St. Louise Gift and Thrift | 402-474-1600
- St. Teresa’s Thrift Shop | 402-475-7065
- The Black Market | 402-475-1033
- The Daisy | 402-475-7777
- Twice As Nice | 402-423-0083
- Once Upon a Child | 402-464-4443
- Room 2 Grow | 402-325-0088
- Lincoln Bike Kitchen | 402-915-2453
- A Novel Idea Bookstore | 402-475-8663
- Bluestem Books | 402-435-7120
- Backtrack Records | 402-464-4567
- CD Warehouse | 402-486-0047
- Lefty’s Records | 402-438-0038
- Lincoln Vintage Vinyl | 402-601-3725
For more tips on how to reduce and reuse follow us on social media facebook.com/lincolnrecycles or call the Solid Waste Management Division at 402-441-8215.