Minimizing Your Waste
Recycling is a great way to deal with the waste we create, but even more importantly, we need to practice waste prevention, reducing the waste we generate in the first place. In order to prevent waste, ask yourself the following questions when purchasing a product:
  • Can I find it used in a second-hand store or from the classifieds?
  • Can I make do with what I have (i.e., repair instead of replace it)?
  • Do I really need this?
  • Is there a more durable alternative?
At Your Home or Office
The following are some times for preventing waste at your home or office:
  • Borrow books from the library instead of purchasing them
  • Buy products in bulk
  • Carry your own mug to the coffee shop and ask them to make your drink in your mug
  • Donate reusable items to charity or a non-profit organization
  • Double-side your copies and save unwanted printouts for scratch paper
  • Reduce your waste disposed by composting yard debris and food scraps
  • Refuse bags when you make small purchases at the store and carry your own reusable shopping bag whenever possible
  • Use durable products rather than disposable (i.e., refillable pens)
Benefits of Waste Reduction
Implementing these waste prevention tips can accomplish the following:
  • Buying durable products will save you more over the long term
  • Buying in bulk saves you money per unit - about $0.10 on every dollar spent is for packaging costs
  • Buying only what you need and renting or borrowing everything else is money saved - and less stuff you have to get rid of later!
  • Fewer natural resources are consumed using waste prevention strategies
  • It can save you money
  • The energy saved by preventing waste reduces the amount of harmful gases in the air that may contribute to global warming
  • You reduce your garbage disposal costs