Are you Wish-Cycling?

Wish-Cycling is putting non-recyclables into the recycling bin, hoping they will be recycled. As a result, Wish-Cycling costs more in labor and machinery to sort out the non-recyclables and dispose of them in the landfill.  It contaminates the load of recyclables and makes it harder to process and market the recyclables.  Please kōkua, read the signs and recycle properly.


Did you know…

The use of scrap metal instead of virgin materials to make new steel results in a 97 percent reduction in mining wastes, 90 percent savings in virgin materials use, 86 percent reduction in air pollution, 76 percent reduction in water pollution, 74 percent savings in energy, and 40 percent reduction in water use.

Picnic or Party with a Marker

Some time in between the sashimi and the coleslaw, you lost track of your cup, and now there are a sea of matching cups on the table, one of which might be yours. The next time you picnic, set out a permanent marker next to disposable dinnerware so guests can mark their cup and everyone will only use one.

Compost food waste & shredded paper

Did you know that your household food waste can be placed into your compost bin and co-composted with your greenwaste? The moisture from the food is a good addition to the greenwaste to promote high quality land application material. It also helps to promote less frequent rubbish can bag changing since there is no rotten food creating moisture and smell.  You can also add most types of shredded paper (no glossy) to your compost pile.  For more information about composting, visit the US Composting Council at

Aluminum Consumption

Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months. Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a TV for three hours.

Glass Recycling Impact

Recycling glass instead of making it from silica sand reduces mining waste by 70 percent, water use by 50 percent and air pollution by 20 percent.

Steel Recycling Impact

The energy saved each year by steel recycling is equal to the electrical power used by 18 million homes each year – or enough energy to last Los Angeles residents for eight years.

Purchase Recycled Paper Products

If every U.S. household replaced just one roll of 1,000-sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissues with 100 percent recycled ones, it could save 373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill space and 155 million gallons of water.

Stop Junkmail

Stop junk mail from coming to your mailbox.  To have your name removed from mailing lists write to:

DMAchoice / Direct Marketing Association/ PO Box 643 / Carmel, NY 10512.   Or go online to the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service website.

TrustedID Mail Preference Service (unwanted mail or phonebooks) – (unwanted pre-screened credit & insurance offers) – or 1-888-567-8688

Product Stewardship Institute infographic on unwanted mail in the U.S.

Use One Less Paper Napkin

During a year, an average American uses thousands of single-use paper napkins – several each day.  If everyone in the US used one less napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year.

Maintain your Vehicle

Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but you are creating less pollution and saving gas.  A properly maintained vehicle, clean air filters, and inflated tires can greatly improve your vehicle’s performance.  And it might not hurt to clean out the trunk- all that extra weight could be costing you at the pump.

Take a Shorter Shower

Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water.  If everyone in the country saved just one gallon of water from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every day.

Greener Lawn Care

If you must water your lawn, do it early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation.  Have a few weeds?  Spot treat them with vinegar.  Not sure if you should rake?  Normal clippings act as a natural fertilizer, let them be.  If you’ve waited too long, rake by hand – it’s excellent exercise.

Rethink Bottled Water

Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose.  Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health.  The EPA’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA’s standards for bottled water.

Go Vegetarian Once a Week

One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet.  For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.  You will also save some trees.  For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.  Interested in yummy vegetarian options?  A variety of producers now make excellent vegetarian or meat-free sausages, burgers, nuggets and other ingredients that are a flavorful addition to any meal.  These options are so delicious and convincing, you wouldn’t believe there’s no meat!

Share magazines and newspapers

Share magazines and newspapers with friends or donate your already read ones to hospitals, doctors offices, or community places. Here in Hawaii: The library accepts used magazines in good condition. Ask you local school, after school program, preschool or daycare if they need magazines for art projects. They often appreciate the donation.

Donate useful items

Give away things you no longer need or want, or donate to a charitable organization or thrift store. Don’t throw away good items that are still usable.

Better coffee filters

Use unbleached coffee filters – bleached paper products create dioxin, a deadly toxic which is dumped into waterways. Some coffee makers have reusable filter baskets and there are cloth filters that can be washed and reused again and again.