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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Reduce waste

Reduce, reduce, reuse-and then recycle if you have anything left over. Recycling consumes tremendous amounts of water and energy, so while it is better than disposing into a landfill, it is still a resource intensive process.

Focus on ways to reduce source materials such as product packaging, disposable containers, and junk mail. Compost biodegradable materials; pack lunches in reusable containers; drink from travel mugs that you carry with you. Consider replacing paper napkins and towels with cloth alternatives. Paper or plastic?? Neither: take sturdy canvas tote bags with you when you shop to bag your purchases. Be frugal in printing electronic information on paper (remember the concept of a paperless office?) and whenever possible, use both sides of paper sheets when printing and copying.

Let businesses know that you want other options besides one-time-use containers and excessive packaging. Don't buy disposable products and over-packaged items. Support businesses that offer product refills, such as hair care and beauty products and household cleaning liquids. A leader in this area is the Restore Products Company, a recipient of a 2002 Governor's Award for Excellence in Waste and Pollution Prevention in Minnesota. Restore Products offers Restore Refill Stations to distribute their earth friendly cleaning products; visit them online at www.restoreproducts.com.

For more information, go online to www.pca.state.mn.us.

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Shop smart
Go native
Farmers and food
Citizen scientists
Vital volunteers
Save energy
Reduce waste
Students of the stream
Innovative designs
Think big thoughts
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