Top 10 Ways to Reduce Waste
- Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, traveling, or packing lunches or leftovers.
- Choose products that are returnable, reusable, or refillable over single-use items.
- Avoid individually wrapped items, snack packs, and single-serve containers. Buy large containers of items or from bulk bins whenever practical.
- Be aware of double-packaging - some "bulk packages" are just individually wrapped items packaged yet again and sold as a bulk item.
- Purchase items such as dish soap and laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
- Compost food scraps and yard waste. Food and yard waste accounts for about 11 percent of the garbage thrown away in the Twin Cities metro area. Many types of food scraps, along with leaves and yard trimmings, can be combined in your backyard compost bin.
- Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. The average resident in America receives over 30 pounds of junk mail per year.
- Shop at second-hand stores. You can find great used and unused clothes at low cost to you and the environment. Buy quality clothing that won't wear out and can be handed down, whether to other people you know or on to a thrift store.
- Buy items made of recycled content, and use and reuse them as much as you can. For instance, use both sides of every page of a notebook before moving on to the next clean notebook. Use unneeded, printed on printer paper for a scratch pad.
- Also, remember that buying in bulk rather than individual packages will save you lots of money and reduce waste! Packaging makes up 30% of the weight and 50% of trash by volume. Buy juice, snacks, and other lunch items in bulk and use those reusable containers each day.
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