Do you have a big ball of rubber bands saved from all your newspapers? The postal service can make use of them! Just put them out by your mail box or mail slot with a note for your carrier, or bring them to the post office.
Rubber is harvested from trees growing in tropical areas. Harvesting and production have a number of environmental and human health impacts. According to WordPress.com: "Natural rubber processing sector consumes large volumes of water and energy and uses large amount of chemicals as well as other utilities. It also discharges massive amounts of wastes and effluents. The most common environmental issues are wastewater containing chemicals and smell, hazardous waste, noise, and thermal emission."(1)
Reusing rubber bands helps cut down on the need for new resources. According to Alliance Rubber Company, "A recent study by Malcolm Pirnie Inc., a leading environmental engineering firm, shows that reusing 10 pounds of rubber instead of virgin rubber prevents approximately 10 pounds of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. In addition, the consumption of oil (which is used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber) falls by one gallon."(2)
(1) VISHNU V., C.S. PRIYADARSHINI, and H. HILBERT. October 3, 2011. Environmental Issues Caused by Rubber Industry. https://businessimpactenvironment.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/environmental-issues-caused-by-rubber-industry/