Waste Not: A Personal PR Campaign for Mother Earth

Jean Walcher is president of J. Walcher Communications and a Member of Business for Good

I regularly hear people say, “oh, I thought they don’t really recycle that,” or “my use of 10 plastic sandwich bags a day doesn’t matter.”

But it does. Every little bit helps. If everyone makes the smallest effort and encourages others (especially children!), we can have an impact in the trashing of our planet. I’m not sure how I became a waste zealot (Besides being a conscious person? Thanks Mom? She’s worse than me. I don’t reuse napkins – at least not all the time. I’m sure it came from her mom – a depression-era immigrant who used to save her old toast).

Here are five tips to reduce in your office and home.

  • You only need ONE paper towel to dry your hands. It makes me crazy when I see people mindlessly pulling paper towels from dispensers in public places. This brilliant Ted Talk shows you how and why. Sometimes I even take the paper towel if it’s still in one piece and let it dry out after I use it and then reuse it later.
  • The little plastic containers to-go food comes in? Wash and reuse – which also saves money on buying disposable plastic containers.
  • Re-use your plastic bags. I’m not just talking about shopping bags (at this point I hope everyone is doing that), but if my plastic sandwich bags are not mucked up, I take them home and use them again. I also reuse tin foil that is not soiled and buy reusable plastic bags and wrap; it’s everywhere now.
  • Please, for the love of God, tell all the restaurants you’re ordering take-out from that you don’t need plastic utensils (unless of course, you really need them). We finally won on plastic straws, made some inroads on Styrofoam and there is the beginning of a movement for ending automatic distribution of plastic cutlery, but do your part now. It’s usually automatic for the restaurant to provide them, and they forget sometimes even when I ask or put the request on a DoorDash order to not include them but keeping asking and it will become the new normal to them.
  • Recycle everything! Items I see not recycled in my office: frozen food boxes, milk containers, clamshell plastic containers that hold fruits and vegetables. Some products you’ll need to rinse out or even wash. Here’s a guide.

Difficult? Not at all, couldn’t be simpler, so please get to it now.