21 November 2008

Let's Precycle!

What is Precycling?

(A woman shopping at Unpackaged, a shop in London. Photograph: Frank Baron/Guardian)

"Recycling is good, but precycling - cutting out packaging in the first place and buying only what you need - is better. Tanis Taylor tried it for a month..." Read more: Waste Not, Want Not

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provides good hints on how to precycle: Let's Precycle!

How to Start Precycling?
  • bring traveling coffee mug
  • bring tote bags for grocery
  • bring empty jars for bulk items
  • bring spork for eating food
  • read local newspaper articles on the internet
Do you have an idea or suggestion on precycling that you would like to share with us? Leave a comment.


  1. instead of buying paper - i haven't bought paper in SO long - i reuse the backs of the letters i get in the mail for my printer or my notes or for writing back and forth with people who don't know ASL.

    i also keep all newspaper ads i get in the mail to use for cleaning windows and mirrors.

    my cloth napkin collection has grown too - no more napkins or ziplocs to wrap my food in.

    PRECYCLE! :) good post!

  2. Interesting! I never used newspaper ads to clean windows and mirrors. I will have to put that suggestion on the whiteboard. Thank you for sharing! :)

    How do I precycle and reuse...

    We use discarded cheese clothes to wipe markers off of our white board. Cheese cloths work much better than typical erasers because of its abrasive personality that it can get markers off the board without the need to use rubbing alcohol, well maybe a little but much less, as we did with erasers. This helps us not to get tempted to buy another eraser after the old one goes bad.

    Bringing a backpack and a traveling mug with me is my favorite way of staying green whether I'm in town or out of town. I get to avoid a lot of plastic bags when I shop for food, rent DVDs, buy used-books, etc. and it keep my hands free from not having to hold items, too.

    Wearing a pair of cargo pants help a lot. I can make my side pockets become my temporary "mini-tote bags," for items that I can fit in, too. :)

    PRECYCLE! :)

  3. haha excellent ideas...esp the cheese cloth one! cool :)