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10 Easy Ways to Lead-By-Example

Recycle Lead by Example

Make a Difference!

Climate Change and Global Warming – these words are showing up everywhere and making many of us wonder what the future will bring.  You CAN make a difference and influence industry leaders, government officials and those around you to take steps NOW to decrease environmental impacts from today’s activities.

Start by evaluating your own every day choices and look for opportunities to ‘tread lightly.’  These 10 actions will get you started in the right direction!

1. Change a light bulb! Take the Energy Star Pledge.

energy saving light bulbEnergy Star logo

2. Carry a refillable water bottle!

water bottle
  • 845 plastic bottles are wasted every second!
  • According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 8 out of 10 plastic water bottles end up in the trash.  DEQ Recycling Specialists are working hard to increase plastics recycling in Montana, but until it is available in your town – Don’t Buy Bottled Water!
  • Plastics and Safety: What You Need to Know from

3. Carry a reusable coffee mug.

reusable coffee mug
  • Don't use Styrofoam or paper coffee cups. Styrofoam may not be a healthy choice and by using disposable Styrofoam or paper coffee cups, you're creating unnecessary garbage.

4. Recycle!

recycle image
  • And do it Right! Follow recycling guidelines carefully to ensure your efforts make a difference. Contaminants in recycling bins result in entire loads being rejected and sent to the landfill. Find more information on Earth 911!
  • State Employees Guidance

5. Calculate Your "Footprint" on Earth.
     Learn more at the Global Footprint Network

6. Walk, Bike, Carpool or take the Bus.

bike, helmet and water bottle
  • Learn about state employee carpooling resources: TAWSE.
  • How much do you spend commuting? Commute Cost Calculator by
  • Use this calculator to see how much money you save, calories you burn and pollution you reduce by leaving your car at home!
  • Find your car's Energy Impact Score, compare the gas mileage (MPG), greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution ratings for your new and used vehicles at the website.

7. Buy locally-produced food.

outside market image

8. Recycle Cell Phones and Rechargeable Batteries.

  • These items are accepted free at many retail locations; find one near you by using the RBRC.

9. Print only what you must!

computer with paper
  • The typical office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year!
  • According to the Berkeley National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, office workers use approximately 100 pounds or just over 4 feet of (stacked) paper each year.
  • Learn how to reduce paper use.
  • Choose your paper wisely. Use this calculator to save wood, water and energy while reducing solid waste and cutting pollution.

10. Buy recycled-content products: Close the Loop!

buy recycled content products logo
  • Recycling isn't enough. Use your buying power to help build markets for recycled-content products. Look for the symbol at the right to identify products that contain recycled-content.
  • Download our Montana Guide for Buying Recycled Products to find useful products ranging from building materials to toner cartridges.