Precycling, Tips For Precycling at Home, School, Work, Entertaining and Shopping

Precycling Tips
Precycling at Home
Precycling When Entertaining
Precycling At Work
Precycling When Shopping
Precycling at School


Precycling is literally pre-recycling or stopping the need for recycling by avoiding the waste that goes to recycling at the point of purchase. It takes into consideration the way in which items are packaged, transported, used and disposed of.

Precycling Tips

The top three main consideration to keep in mind when precycling are to:

  • Buy long lasting items
  • Avoid excess packaging
  • Reuse as much as you can

These tips can be applied to precycling in the home, at work, when shopping and at school in the following ways.

Precycling at Home

  • Use cleaning cloths instead of paper towels. Better still recycle old clothes and bedding into cleaning rags
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Repair items that have broken
  • Donate things you no longer use like old clothing, toys and appliances to charities
  • Instead of buying things you may only use occasionally, consider borrowing or renting them
  • Keep jars to store things in
  • Donate used magazines and books to nursing homes, hospitals, your doctor's office or local library
  • Remove your name from mailing and junk mail lists

Precycling When Entertaining

  • Don't use disposable plates. Just wash your plates and utensils.
  • Instead of using paper napkins, buy reusable cloth ones.
  • Instead of buying snacks like crisps, nuts and pretzels in small individual servings, buy them in bulk and serve in a reusable bowl
  • If you are only going to use an item occasionally, consider renting or borrowing

Precycling At Work

  • Send email for all correspondence and memos instead of printing, copying or mailing
  • Replace disposable pens with quality refillable pens
  • Circulate one copy of memos, letters, etc. instead of distributing individual copies
  • Electronically transfer files rather than burning and sending discs
  • Double side your copies and reuse any 'scrap' paper
  • Wash and reuse mugs and cups for tea and coffee instead of using disposable cups
  • Reuse office supplies like paper clips, binders, report covers and folders
  • Elect to receive emailed company announcements and annual reports
  • Telecommute or teleconference when possible

Precycling When Shopping

  • Always buy in bulk
  • Bring reusable shopping bags
  • Don't use a bag at all for small purchases
  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables, not prepackaged
  • Avoid disposable items like paper towel, toss away cloths and disposable razors
  • Buy concentrated cleaning products
  • Avoid packaging particularly non-recyclable or non-compostable packaging
  • Avoid any single serving items as they have excess packaging per unit of product
  • Choose items that have little to no packaging, and those items that can be reused or recycled

Precycling at School

  • Take lunch in a reusable lunch box or other containers and take a drink in a reusable drink bottle
  • Use both sides of the paper
  • Save scraps, and other items like egg cartons and cardboard tubes for younger children to use for craft
  • Use both sides of your paper
  • Reuse supplies like paper clips, binders, report covers and folders

Source: AZoCleantech

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