Tips to Reduce Waste
Reducing waste, especially at the source, minimizes the amount of total waste that goes to our landfills. So how do we reduce waste at the source? This occurs when we think differently about how we purchase our products in terms of quality and packaging. Ultimately, we want to reduce the toxicity of items going into our landfills.
Common ways to reduce waste at home include:
- Purchasing items with the least amount of packaging like economy-sized items which typically offer more product and less packaging per unit;
- Buying in bulk like fruits, vegetables, meats, and household items like nails and screws;
- Using canvas or reusable bags for groceries or other purchases;
- Purchasing items in concentrate like laundry detergent since they typically require less packaging and energy to transport to the store;
- Utilizing refillable or reusable packaging like soap dispensers or refillable milk containers;
- Using reusable items in the home rather than disposable items like cloth towels instead of paper towels and rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries.
- Composting organic materials.
At work people can:
- Make double sided copies;
- Use email whenever possible;
- Make fewer copies and circulate items;
- Bring reusable mugs and silverware to work rather than use plastic disposable.
Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provide helpful tips and resources for individuals looking to reduce waste in their households.