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Refuse Challenge!

Can you conquer all five? 

You may be familiar with the three "R"s of waste reduction- reduce, reuse, and recycle. The newest kid on the block reminds us of the best way to reduce: refuse disposables right off the bat!

Photo of person holding a reusable water bottle. Photo by Ryan Everton on UnsplashNew habits can be formed in about 66 days. Give just one refuse strategy a try and you'll make a big impact.

Remember, no effort is too small. 


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  1. In need of coffee?

Pack a travel mug in your car, bag, or backpack, for use when you stop at a cafe. Having that mug handy is great for spur of the moment hot beverage needs. 

Did You Know?

16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year. Every opportunity to refuse a paper cup is a successful diversion from the landfill.

  2. Shopping for groceries?

Carry a reusable shopping bag. Always forget to bring it into the store? Try placing it near your phone or wallet so you'll grab everything at once. Or pick up a foldable bag that fits right in a purse.

Boomerang Bags is an organization that sews reusable bags for use at local grocery stores. Interested? Contact Wisconsin's local chapters in Riverwest and Shorewood.

  3. Out for lunch?

Keep a bag handy that's stocked with a metal fork and glass/ plastic container. Use it for to-go orders and leftovers while you're out to eat. (Reminder, if we all do this, no one will feel like a weirdo)

A compostable to-go container is a good step, but remember that compost needs oxygen to break down. There's not much of that when buried in a landfill. Refuse is still king. 

  4. Quenching your thirst?

Keep a reusable water bottle in your home and at work. Keeping a full water bottle around not only limits your single-use plastic purchases, but helps encourage you to stay hydrated out there.  

Did you know?

One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling.

  5. Surrounded by swag?

Sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by branded goodies with individuals eager to hand them out. If you know you're not going to use that squishy stress ball, it's okay to say no thank you. 

If you're in charge of creating some swag, consider branded items that will provide the most use for customer. Maybe it's one of the reusable item listed above.

Calling All Book Nerds!

Did you know that with a Milwaukee Public Library card, you have access to any book, magazine, newspaper, audio book, DVD, or CD in the Milwaukee County system? That's a lot to choose from and new titles are purchased every month. Visit any branch or request an item for pick up at your local library online or with the Milwaukee County Catalog app. 

With your library card, you also have FREE access to the entire Wisconsin Digital Library for e-books, audio books, and other subscriptions. Just download the Overdrive or Libby app, select your library, and enter your library card details. Happy reading, friends!