City of Lawton
Industrial Pretreatment Program

59 Ways to Make a Difference

Reduce | ReuseRecycle | Respond | Conserve Energy | Conserve Water

    REDUCEreduce reuse recycle

  • Look for containers that can be reused or recycled, like aluminum and glass, or those that can be composted, like paper.
  • Buy in bulk or concentrated products when you can.
  • Avoid items that are made to be thrown away after only a few uses like disposable razors or flashlights.
  • Look for products you can use again and again, like thermos jars, rechargeable batteries, cloth towels, glass plates, etc.
  • Avoid buying products that contain hazardous materials, as these may be difficult to dispose of safely.
  • Look for creative ways to practice source reduction.
  • Write letters to companies asking them to use less packaging.
  • Use cloth bags when you shop.
  • Write to companies that send you unwanted junk mail asking them to take you off the list.
  • Print or copy on both sides of the paper.


  • Save plastic and paper bags for reuse instead of throwing them away.
  • Store leftovers in glass or plastic containers.
  • Take hangers back to the cleaners.
  • Use the back side of paper for scratch pads.
  • Save manila envelopes and folders to use again.
  • Start a backyard compost bin for kitchen and yard scraps. Contact your local County Extension Service for more information.
  • Encourage your school to start a program composting cafeteria food waste.
  • Donate or sell unwanted clothing, appliances, tools, and miscellaneous items.
  • Share newspapers and magazines.
  • Use old newspapers as packing material.
  • Return styrofoam peanuts to packing or mailing stores for reuse.
  • Shop at re-sale and thrift stores.


  • Buy recycled content products--If you are not buying recycled products, then you are not really recycling.
  • Start an office paper recycling program at work or school.
  • Separate aluminum, glass and newspaper waste at home and work for recycling.
  • Take time to learn about how to prepare recyclable items.
  • Recycle used motor oil and batteries at a recycler, automotive store or service station.
  • Watch for collection dates to recycle your phone book--if there isn't one in your community, organize one.
  • Urge your newspaper to print on recycled paper.
  • Have your laser printer cartridge cleaned and refilled instead of throwing it away.
  • Start a program at school or church to collect and recycle plastic six-pack rings. For information, contact ITW Hi-Cone, Ring Leader Recycling Program, 1140 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Itasca, Illinois 60143-9989.


  • Set a good example for your family and friends by practicing the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
  • Contact managers where you shop to request that the store carry recycled products.
  • Write your legislators when you have an opinion about legislation.
  • Consider organizing a recycling program for your community, school or business.
  • Bring and use your own coffee mug to meetings instead of using disposable cups.
  • Join the Adopt-a-Highway program or create your own adoption program such as Adopt-a-Park, Neighborhood, County Road, etc.
  • Plant a tree - If every American family planted one tree, more than one billion pounds of greenhouse gases could be removed from the atmosphere every year.
  • Participate in Use Less Stuff Day, Earth Day, and America Recycles Day.


    conserve energy
  • Keep your car well tuned and filters clean. A poorly tuned vehicle can use as much as three to nine percent more gasoline than a well tuned one.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated to save gas.
  • Turn off the light when you leave a room.
  • Adjust your thermostat to a moderate temperature when you leave each day.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs at home, work or school with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Have an energy audit done at home, work or school and follow suggestions to save energy.
  • Caulk and weather strip cracks around doors and windows at home.
  • Insulate your water heater.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
  • Carpool and share rides whenever possible.


    conserve water
  • Wash your car at home. The average automatic car wash can use ten times as much water and a big charge of electricity to do the same job you can do at home.
  • Avoid over-watering your lawn.
  • Water during morning and evening hours to reduce evaporation.
  • Use mulch in gardens and flower beds.
  • Install a water saving showerhead.
  • Turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Run the washer and dishwasher only when full.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean walkways and driveways.