Reduce Household Waste

Learning how to reduce household waste begins with paying attention to what is in your trash. Okay, that doesn't sound like much fun, but it is important to first understand what you are throwing away. How much packaging, how many paper plates, paper towels, empty containers, batteries, unused get the idea!

Once you understand what you are throwing away, you can start planning your shopping and purchasing to reduce the amount of trash you produce...and enjoy the benefits of saving some cash while you are promoting green Living.


The amount of packaging that comes with the items we buy has improved over the past few years, but it still is a major component of household waste. Pay attention to how many layers of packaging are involved with an item. Do you really need a box around that bottle of wine? When buying in bulk, if the box is the same as the box the store receives the item in, you haven't added to the total trash supply...but if you buy a box that was in a box, you've just added to our trash. A certain amount of packaging can't be avoided...but remember that much of it can be recycled.

Purchase concentrates and dilute them yourself in a reusable container.

Avoid buying single serving containers. Buy a bigger package and divide it yourself.

Paper Products

This is an easy area to use less and save money.

Start by purchasing an inexpensive set of dishes to use for Barbeques and outdoor dining instead of using paper plates. You'll quickly recover the cost of the dishes and start saving money every day after. Same goes for plastic throw away forks and knives. If you really can't deal with washing the plates, a simple paper towel works fine for sandwiches; it's cheaper than paper plates and produces less waste.

Reduce your use of paper towels. We often use them when a sponge would work just as well (or better). And use less. Buy the paper towels that are cut into smaller dab sized pieces. They don't cost any more, and you will find you use less that way. And think before you tear - you can always go back for more, but it's tough to get that extra piece back onto the roll!

Arrange to get your bills and statements online, and pay your bills that way. You eliminate much of the mail coming in and reduce the expense (and waste) of envelopes and paper checks.

Other Ways to Reduce

Long lasting batteries cost a little more at first - but they last a lot longer, you'll end up spending less and throwing fewer away. Better yet, use rechargeable batteries.

Pay attention to the quality of all the items you buy. If it looks like it won't probably won't. Sometimes paying a little more for an item that will last is less expensive in the long run, and you don't end up throwing it away.

Use what you have until you have used it up.

Use all of it. All the toothpaste in the tube, all the shampoo in the bottle, all the jelly in the jar. There are often one or 2 more uses left...but we can get lazy and throw it away and open a new one.

Don't buy what you won't use. This one will save you a ton of money!!!

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