Ideas for Waste Prevention

Preventing waste is easy!  Use these waste-reducing ideas to jump-start your efforts.

Smart Shopping

  • Pack lunches in reusable containers to reduce waste and save money.
  • Set your place - keep a set of cutlery, cloth napkin, and drink glass at work to eliminate using disposable, to-go materials.
  • Bring a reusable cup or mug to coffee shops for beverages to avoid disposable cups.
  • Buy in bulk whenever possible; remember to take your own bag or container when shopping.
  • Use a cloth bag when you shop. Many grocers sell these for less than $1.00!
  • Purchase quality used items such as furniture, clothing, sports equipment, toys and books at second-hand stores, garage sales, and through classified ads.
  • Repair broken or damaged items rather than replacing them.
  • If you insist on purchasing items new, invest your funds in well-made goods that will last for many decades, rather than spending the same amount to replace a lesser quality item many times.
  • Choose products with minimal packaging or packaging that can be reused or recycled easily. Learn more ideas by linking to the Gift Resources page.



  • Use the blank sides of scrap paper for notes and lists before recycling the paper.Office paper stack
  • Reduce your unwanted junk mail! Request a Metro Junk Mail kit today.
  • Borrow books from the library or buy them used rather than purchasing new.
  • Opt-out of automatic deliveries of phone books, catalogs, and more!


Return to Nature

  • Compost leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy) in a home compost pile.
  • Use the compost to improve your garden or to feed house plants.
  • Request a “Composting is Easy” booklet today to get started.


Donate for Reuse

  • Donate items you can no longer use to a nonprofit group or thrift store.
  • Donate leftover food from your favorite restaurant or caterer to the Fork it Over! program and help feed the hungry in the community.


Other Resources