While recycling programs for household wastes are all well and good, it is far better to avoid generating excess waste in the first place than to try to deal with it after it has been generated. Dealing with waste at its source is an important concept, and it is good for both your pocketbook and the environment.

For instance, do you use all the plastic utensils that you get when you order takeout for dinner? While many people simply throw out those plastic utensils, they can be reused for a variety of things, including children’s lunches, lunches at work and even at your next picnic or family gathering. So instead of throwing those extra utensils in the garbage can, try keeping them for future use. Simply store those extra items in a special drawer and they will be ready whenever you need them. This simple method can help to reduce the amount of waste your family generates at the source, while at the same time keeping that plastic out of the landfills.

When planning a picnic, instead of packing the food and drinks in wasteful plastic bags why not use a picnic basket instead? A picnic basket can be a great investment, and a great way to avoid generating lots of waste. And picnic baskets are lots of fun for the whole family.

Other great tips for reducing waste at the source include using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones, using resealable plastic containers instead of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and mending items instead of throwing them away and buying new ones.

Using all these tips is a great way to save some serious money while at the same time being friendlier to the environment and society as a whole. Recycling makes a great deal of sense as well, and many common items can be reused or recycled instead of being thrown away. Old cans, bottles and the like can be put to many uses around the house, and this reuse can save a lot of money as well. For instance, baby food jars are the perfect size for holding everything from nails and screws in the workshop to sewing notions and other items. And of course reusing baby food jars that would otherwise be thrown away is much more efficient, and less costly, than buying specialized bins or other types of products.

As you can see, recycling makes a great deal of sense on both an economic and an ethical level.

Getting Charged Up About Recycling

You've probably seen or even own one of those solar-powered calculators. You may have also seen solar panels on homes, emergency road signs or call boxes. Solar-powered energy is environmentally friendly and economical, as there is never a need to buy or discard batteries.

Digital cameras, laptops, cell phones, walkman and various toys are just a few of the many things we utilize in our daily lives that run on batteries. Batteries contain elements such as acid that are harmful for the environment and would pollute our waters, and even burn your skin if they are not properly disposed of.

Household batteries are accepted at many recycling facilities and almost all areas have household toxins drop-off days. Sealed lead batteries, such as old car batteries, can and should be recycled also as they contain hazardous materials that can be reused. Call your local recycling facility to find out about your options. Another good resource you might want to check out is a website called earth911 that contains answers to all kinds of recycling questions and lots of other environmentally friendly information!

One option is to use solar-powered batteries instead of disposable ones. Solar-powered batteries run off energy from the sun and can provide a significant amount of power at a low cost. Solar-powered batteries will also sustain their usage much longer than a regular disposable battery. Another good reason to use solar-powered batteries, especially for cell phones, is that you can travel almost anywhere in the world and never have to remember to bring your charger!

So consider the option of solar-powered battery items the next time you are out shopping for a new gadget or necessary device. You can save yourself money while helping to save the environment!

Author's Bio: 

This article was compiled by the editors at SelfGrowth.com, the number one self improvement resource on the Web. For more quality self improvement content, please visit http://www.selfgrowth.com.