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Buy Recycled

Buying recycled is critical to the economics of the recycling process. Many products contain recycled materials or are made completely of recycled materials. When shopping, check labels for the recycling symbol and choose products with recycled content when you can. Tell retailers and manufacturers that you want to purchase more recycled goods and see more recycled packaging. Send emails, take surveys, mail letters. Pressure from consumers can help close the loop and make recycled products more readily available for sale.

Check out products from Terracycle. The company uses waste that usually can’t be recycled and turns it into usable gear—like pencil cases from old drink pouches, and handbags and totes from cookie packaging. It’s a great source for school supplies, too, with colorful folders, binders, backpacks, and more. Products can be purchased online, or found locally at stores like Target, Walgreens, and Kroger.

Preserve Gimme 5 collects plastics No. 5 (yogurt, cottage cheese, and other No. 5 containers) and turns them into household products, such as razors, toothbrushes, food storage containers, and more. You can mail your No. 5 plastics to Preserve or take them to a collection point, such as any Whole Foods store. The nearest store to Springfield is the Whole Foods at 1050 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Dayton.

If every household in the U.S. replaced just one  roll of 120-count virgin fiber paper towels with recycled ones, we could save: