|Are you looking for a specific product? Do you know of a great product we should carry? Click here to tell us about it!
- Reduce your paper
consumption by replacing paper napkins with cloth napkins, and paper
towels with a set of specified cloth towels that can be washed and
reused. Leave messages for family members or roommates on a reusable
message board rather than on paper notes.
- Instead of using new wrapping
paper on gifts, use old maps, the Sunday comics, reusable gift bags, new
cloth dish towels, decorated paper bags, colorful pieces of fabric, or a
reusable shopping bag. You'll find many inexpensive reusable shopping
bags here at Twelve Rivers that would serve as a gift within a gift!
- While shopping, if you
only buy a few products skip the shopping bag. For larger purchases,
bring your own. Twelve Rivers has many beautiful options from which to
choose. Remember, select bags you love. You’ll be more likely to use
- Whenever possible, take a
non-disposable lunch. Use a reusable carrier such as a cloth bag or
lunchbox rather than paper bag, reusable food containers, a thermos for
drinks, and silverware and a cloth napkin to wash and reuse.
- Switch from disposable
to reusable products, such as food and beverage containers, cups and
plates for get-togethers, cloth diapers, cloth cleaning towels, and
fabric shopping bags.
- Donate toys your children have
outgrown to local churches, day cares, and pediatricians’ offices.
- Use both sides of each
piece of paper -- for note taking or printing documents from your
- Pick up books from a used book
store or your local library. Not only can you find magazines, CDs,
books-on-tape, and videos available for checking out, but often
libraries will have these used items for sale.
- Purchase rechargeable batteries
and a battery recharger (some battery rechargers will also recharge
regular alkaline batteries).
- Instead of styrofoam
packing peanuts, use paper from your paper shredder as packing
- Call your city or township offices for local recycling
guidelines and find out what local companies recycle those products not
handled by your city pickup.
- Create designated holding "bins"
for each type of recycled product and place in convenient locations in
- In general, try to buy products
made from recycled material as often as possible to support the recycled
product market. When purchasing paper products, look for paper that has
been recycled using a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste.
- If possible, consider
biking, taking public transit, or carpooling to work to reduce the
amount of fuel expended.
- Fix water leaks promptly. Check
your water meter when no one is using water in the house. If it's moving
there's a leak, which might be a running toilet or a dripping
- Reduce standby power (the energy
used while an appliance is switched off or not performing) at home and
at work. The easiest way is to unplug appliances that are not being used
- Whenever possible, keep lights
off during the day. Encourage family members to get in the habit of
turning off lights when they leave a room.
- Avoid wasting water. Turn
off the water faucet while brushing your teeth. Try to keep showers to
under 5 minutes. Switch to low flow or dual flush toilets. Keep a water
pitcher near your sink or bathtub and collect unused water running from
the tap (waiting for cooler or warmer water) for watering houseplants.
Helpful suggestions to get you started in your
- First and foremost, create the habit of using
reusable shopping bags rather than accepting plastic bags or asking for
paper bags from our retail stores. Old habits are difficult to break.
Commit to making the change. Research shows new habits can be developed
within 21 days. You can do this!
Purchase reusable bags you love! When you choose bags you find
irresistible, you’ll enjoy using them and increase the likelihood of a
- Choose two
styles of reusable bags: compact and larger totes. The compact bags can
slip into your handbag or backpack so they’re always with you when you
need them. Store the larger totes in your car and grab them before you
head into a store for several purchases. By having both bag styles,
you’re always prepared.
- The most
impacting choice comes in selecting bags made in the USA or by an
established fair trade company. By purchasing bags manufactured
domestically, you’re helping revive our economy. With bags produced
through overseas Fair Trade, you may simply enable a woman to feed her
children daily or a man to care for his family so his children can go to
school rather than work. Commit to purchasing bags made in the USA and
through Fair Trade because the extra expense ensures artisans are
treated with respect and paid fairly for their work.
Further commitment comes in considering the fiber and fabric
your reusable bags are made with. If given the choice of the same bag
style in a synthetic, natural, or recycled fiber, choose bags made from
natural (cotton, linen, hemp) or recycled materials. Natural fibers are
biodegradable and sustainable, and recycled fabrics keep trash out of
our landfills. Be sure to look for verification of the recycling company
or the registered name of the recycled fabric since, unfortunately, many
imported fabrics are being labeled as recycled when they are indeed not.
- When choosing bags, avoid the nonwoven
polypropylene fabric. This fiber is a form of plastic that requires
eight times the energy to produce as a paper sack, and nearly 28 times
as much as the plastic used in standard disposable bags. Polypropylene
is also extremely difficult to recycle since it requires additional
chemicals to make the recycled material strong enough to be