Natural Living Des Moines

Ways to reduce waste in your home by sarahtar
December 29, 2007, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Waste

This list is compiled from many of the resources listed in my previous post.

Reduce the Garbage you bring in:

  • Pay attention to packaging.
    • Buy products that are packaged minimally, or that use packaging that can be reused or recycled.
    • Buy larger packages when possible. Buying one giant bottle of laundry detergent, for example, creates less waste than buying three small bottles.
    • Buy concentrated products if you can. For example, we use one particular cleaner that we dilute 1:10 in a separate (reusable) bottle before we use it.
    • Buy used (garage sales, Craig’s List, Freecycle, Secondhand Stores)
    • Don’t buy single-serving foods. Instead of small bottles of juice for lunchboxes, for example, purchase a larger bottle and then divide it among smaller, reusable bottles.
  • Reduce the number of things you bring into your house:
    • Borrow, rent, or share things you don’t use often. (For example, Randy’s family all shares a carpet shampooer. That means they only threw away the box/packaging from ONE carpet shampooer instead of four.) Saves money, too!
    • Resist consumerism! Do you really need it?
    • Make your own food at home instead of eating take-out in all those disposable packages.
    • Buy milk in glass bottles that can be washed and reused by the dairy.
  • Buy and use reusable goods.
    • Use reusable shopping bags.
    • Purchase reusable products (cloth diapers, cloth napkins, reusable water bottles).
    • Buy rechargeable batteries.
  • Fight Junk Mail!
    • This site has good suggestions.
    • Call the 800 numbers for catalogs you no longer wish to receive.

Reduce the Garbage you put out:

  • Recycle as much as you can.
  • Choose Durability:
    • Buy quality products.
    • Maintain your things. Take good care of your clothes, your appliances, everything.
    • Repair items that can be repaired, rather than replacing them.
  • Sell, donate, give away, or freecycle things you don’t want. (I freecycle my fabric scraps to quilters who make charity quilts.)
  • Compost yard waste and food scraps, instead of putting them in the garbage. (In Des Moines, you can also choose to use the Compost It! program.)
  • Plan meals wisely to cut down on food waste.
  • Reuse:
    • Reuse disposable shopping bags.
    • Reuse other things. Turn old clothes into new clothes, let your kids make art projects from old cardboard, etc.
    • Reuse paper – print on both sides of office paper, or let your kids draw on the back of used paper.

Other things that are Good to do:

  • Purchase items that are recycled or made from recycled products.
  • Purchase items that are recyclable, or packaged in recyclable packaging.
  • Talk to others about reducing their waste.

Use Less Stuff has a fun survey at their website to help you see if you’re a waste-wise wonder or a waste-wise wuss.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Really great list! These are simple suggestions that anyone can follow!

Comment by Tree Hugger for McCain

good but could you put articles useful for school children

Comment by lora

Awesome, useful, and creative. 😀

Comment by Aomsin Siripoon

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