Environmental Shopping

  • Americans generate about 5 pounds of trash a day; 1800 pounds a year.
  • Almost half of what we throw away is recyclable!
  • Packaging accounts for 33% of municipal waste, 35% of the cost of the item is in the packaging.
  • When we buy only the products we need, with the least amount of packaging, and use only recycled or recyclable packaging, we send less trash to the landfills, and help protect the environment!
  • Become an Environmental Shopper and reduce your trash by as much as 50%!

Environmentally literate people know that their daily choices affect the environment, how those choices can help or harm the environment, and what they need to do—individually or as part of a community—to keep the environment healthy and sustain its resources, so that people enjoy a good quality of life for themselves and their children.

The difference between recycled content and post-consumer recycled content is:

  • Post-consumer content refers to product materials that have already been purchased and used by consumers or businesses and would be considered as waste.
  • Recycled-content products are made either totally or partially from recovered materials or products that are rebuilt or remanufactured.
  • Recyclable products can be collected and made into new products after their original use. These products may not contain recycled materials but may be recycled after use, depending on possible revered materials through your local recycling program.



  • Groceries Read grocery labels to see if the item or package was made from recycled material or can be recycled by us (See our list of acceptable materials).
  • White Goods – When shopping for a new appliance ALWAYS ask about their turn-in or take back program, whether it be free or for a small fee it’s always your best option to trade in your non-working appliance where you are buying the new one.
  • Batteries Try the rechargeable batteries, they may cost a bit more upfront but they can be reused many times before they need throwing away, and will save you money in the long run.
  • Paint Purchase environmentally friendly paints, such as water base paint.  Purchase ONLY the quantity you need to avoid having to dispose of or store your leftover paint. Your local paint supplier will gladly help you estimate how much paint you will need for your project.
  • Tires When purchasing new tires have the tire service center handle the disposal of your old ones.

CLOSE THE LOOP:  Buy Recycled!
Like many Americans, residents of the Ohio Valley area collect and sort items to be recycled.  That’s great; you are helping to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill, conserving energy, preserving natural resources and creating new jobs. But recycling cannot be considered as completely successful unless we follow all three steps in the recycling loop.

Step One: Dropping off your glass and plastic bottles and jars, metal cans and paper products at your local recycling drop off site is just the first step in processing used materials into new materials. Because recycling markets vary from one area to another, it can sometimes be confusing to understand what can and cannot be recycled. Items not acceptable for recycling in your area are considered contaminants and lead to more expensive and less efficient recycling programs. Please call your local recycling program for questions regarding acceptable materials.

Step Two: The plastic, glass and metal materials collected locally are transported to a MRF, a Materials Recovery Facility for separation. The items are then transported to a manufacturer to make new products. This is the important second step in recycling. Locally, paper materials are transported to Valley Converting, a paper mill in Toronto, Ohio. This company is an “end user”; they produce and ship a chipboard product to manufacturers for use in cereal boxes, tablets, tissue boxes and more.

Step Three: The third and final step is the return of new products to the marketplace.  It may surprise you to learn that what you Buy is just as important as knowing the proper items accepted in your area recycling program. This is an important step YOU need to support if recycling is to remain part of the solution to the preservation and conservation of our natural resources.

You close the recycling loop when you buy a product or packaging that is made from recycled materials. As we buy more recycled products, we create a greater demand, and consequently, more products are made from recycled content.

Always look for the recycled symbol when shopping for products and choose products that show the highest percentage of post-consumer content.

See how much you know with our Environmental Literacy Test!