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Your Stuff: Make a difference by starting at home. - Printable Version - July 21, 2010
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Your “stuff” plays a big role in your life. You are surrounded by it! From your clothes and furniture to those old computer parts and tools taking up space in your basement. What about all of that disposable packaging from your recent trip to the store? Or the food scraps from dinner?

It turns out that 35 percent of carbon emissions in Multnomah County come from the making, transporting and disposal of our stuff.

Getting a grip on how we think about and manage all of that stuff can help curb climate change. The good news is there are lots of ways to reduce these impacts and improve our lives at the same time!

Check out the stuff that you have around your home. Is it meaningful and durable? Does it add enhancement to your life? Are there things around you that just add clutter or distract from quality time with family and friends?

Questions to ask yourself to re-evaluate how you use the containers you place at the curb:

  • How often do I fill my garbage and recycling containers?
  • How large are these containers?
  • If I created less garbage and recycled more, could I downsize to a smaller garbage container?
  • Are there materials in my garbage can that could be placed in the blue Portland Recycles! roll cart, or the green Portland Composts! roll cart?
  • Are there materials in my garbage can that could go to a local recycling center such as film plastic/plastic bags?
  • What could I do differently to avoid having to put materials in the garbage and recycling containers in the first place?

Set some achievable waste reduction, recycling and composting goals based on how you’ve answered these questions. Check back for future blog posts with more information and resources to help you reach your goals!



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