What can businesses in and around the Pearl River watershed do to become involved in protecting and restoring the Ross Barnett Reservoir? Here are some ways businesses can step up their efforts to reduce waste and pollution, as well as educate their employees about how they can help improve the health of the Reservoir.
Reduce Paper UseAs a nation, we generate 85 million tons of paper waste and use 3.7 million tons of copy paper annually. Instead of cutting down trees, cut down on paper waste by printing less and recording data electronically.
Switch It OffMake sure to turn off your computer, monitor and office light at the end of the day or before you leave for a long meeting.
Ditch the DisposablesInstead of using (and throwing away) disposable plates, cups and utensils during your lunch and coffee breaks every day, keep a set of reusable dishware in your office or lunchroom.
Make an effort to bring your lunch to work in reusable containers, rather than getting take-out or heading to vending machines (which use lots of disposables bags and containers). This will help cut down on the amount of waste entering the watershed’s landfills.
RecycleSome benefits include: saving energy, saving land space, saving money, creating new jobs, reducing air and water pollution and preserving habitat for wildlife.
Practice the Three R's:First, Reduce how much you use, then Reuse what you can, and then Recycle the rest. Then, dispose of what's left in the most environmentally friendly way.
Adapted from: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/home.htm#recycle
- Buy permanent items instead of disposables.
- Buy and use only what you need.
- Buy products with less packaging.
- Buy products that use less toxic chemicals.
- Repair items as much as possible.
- Use durable coffee mugs.
- Use cloth napkins or towels.
- Clean out juice bottles and use them for water.
- Use empty jars to hold leftover food.
- Reuse boxes.
- Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
- Participate in a paint collection and reuse program.
- Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away.
- Recycle paper (printer paper, newspapers, mail, etc.), plastic, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans. If your community doesn't collect at the curb, take them to a collection center.
- Recycle electronics.
- Recycle used motor oil.
- Compost food scraps, grass and other yard clippings, and dead plants.
- Close the loop — buy recycled products and products that use recycled packaging. That's what makes recycling economically possible.
US EPA New England: What Your Business Can Do To Protect & Secure Drinking Water Sources
Why Drinking Water Protection Involves Everybody