Waste Reduction

Create Less Waste in the First Place
 Recycling gets a lot of attention, but we actually see it as the last step before throwing something away...did you realize that there are many ways to reduce the amount of waste you create long before you have something left to recycle?

While recycling is good, it's even better to reduce waste in the first place! From avoiding materials that aren't recyclable or eliminating practices like excessive purchasing, to reusing resources whenever possible, there are a lot of simple ways to decrease our impact on the waste stream. Think of these strategies as "precycling"! 

Precycling is the process of thinking things through before acquiring something new. Before buying a product there are some simple questions that can be considered, such as, "When I am finished with this, what will happen? Will it go off to a landfill or is it recyclable? Will I be able to reuse it somehow, or am I going to donate it to someone? How long will this item last? Is there a more durable alternative?" Knowing the answer to questions like these before shopping for a product is a great step towards creating less waste.

Here are a few ways to think ahead and precycle:


  • avoid individually wrapped/ single-serve items
  • buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of packaged
  • buy concentrates because they last longer and then recycle the container
  • bring your own canvas or reusable bags; try not to use disposable bags

At the office-

  • make double sided copies when you have to print
  • use a reusable coffee/travel mug
  • use washable plates and utensils instead of disposable
  • use digital rather than print files when possible

At home-

  • use cloth napkins and reusable cleaning towels instead of paper products
  • buy rechargeable batteries
  • learn to freecycle: give it away instead of throwing it away
  • donate used toys, clothing and even appliances to charities and non-profit organizations
  • borrow or rent items you only use occasionally or consider buying and sharing that equipment with friends or family 

Remember "reduce, reuse, then recycle!"
See the links below for helpful tips and more information. 


waste heirarchy 2