Welcome to GreenItUp, a database of common items, and how to reduce, reuse, and recycle them.

Maximize Your Green!

Notice each item is organized into “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. You’ve probably heard that motto before. That order isn’t random (at least I don’t think it is). This is actually based on the waste hierarchy (which, at least according to Wikipedia, is a real term). The goal is to maximize the benefit provided by a product and minimize the amount of waste created.

Waste hierarchy
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I shall explain:

  • Reduce
    This is your best option. By decreasing the demand for the item or eliminating reasons for its creation, there’s no junk you’ll eventually have to get rid of.
  • Reuse
    Extending the life of a product has less of a negative environmental impact as recycling, explained below.
  • Recycle
    The message to recycle seems like the one of the most popular green things around, but this should actually be one of your last resorts. Recycling still requires a lot of energy (thus carbon emissions, etc) to break down the product and recreate a new product.
  • Dispose
    Okay, this isn’t on the hierarchy or motto, but I felt it was necessary for certain items. Some items can’t go through any of the above processes, but still require proper disposal. Things like batteries and used motor oil can’t just be dumped with the rest of your trash, but there are proper places and methods for getting rid of this stuff that still makes an environmentalist wince, but won’t cause your neighbor’s kids to grow an extra eyeball.