What is it? Why do it? It starts in your shopping cart. Precycling means choosing products that will have the smallest impact on waste generation.

How to begin? Think purchases with no or little packaging. Buying in bulk. Selecting products in packaging that you know is recyclable in your local programs. It’s called precycling because you are planning ahead to reduce waste and to recycle the packaging you bring into your home.

Easily recyclable packages for most communitites include metal food and beverage cans, plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, and paperboard and cardboard. Before you precycle, check with your local solid waste management and recycling offices to find out what you can recycle in your curbside bin or at dropoff sites.

Here’s an example that gives you the chance to reduce waste, save money, and precycle. Applesauce is sold in all sorts of containers — you can choose from squeezable pouches, plastic cups, glass jars, metal cans, and plastic jars. Take a second to stop and think. Which of those containers is locally recyclable? Which isn’t? By choosing the bulk container that can be recycled locally, you reduce the total amount of waste, usually pay less per serving, and precycle. That’s a win–win–win!

Photo credit: ljubaphoto | iStock | Getty Images Plus

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