• Jane Dexter

Tips for reducing solid waste - and saving money too!

There are many easy and practical ways that YOU can reduce the amount of solid waste you produce, and keep the planet clean and beautiful. Here are a few ideas.


Take your own bag or basket to the supermarket.

Do not accept bags for your purchases in stores unless you really need them (e.g. you do not need to place a bag of bread in another bag).

Choose products wrapped in the least unnecessary packaging.

Buy everything you can in bulk (large economy sizes) rather than small packages that use much more wasteful packaging.

Try using concentrated products (e.g. soap) which need less packaging.

Buy vegetables loose rather than in plastic bags.

Compost vegetable scraps and garden waste. This can account for up to three-quarters of the waste you produce.

Don’t waste food and store leftovers in a reusable container.

Give your food scraps to your pets or farm animals but only if suitable for them.

Maintain and repair items (e.g. clothes, appliances) so they last longer.

Sell or donate things you don’t want instead of throwing them out (e.g. clothes, books can be sold at garage sales or handed down to younger ones).

Borrow, rent or share things you don’t use often (e.g. tools).

Use cloth napkins, sponges and dishcloths instead of paper towels and napkins.

Do not take more than you need to use. For example, don’t take packets of ketchup, napkins, or utensils from restaurants unless you need them.

Use low-energy LED bulbs that last longer than the regular incandescent bulbs.

If you mow your lawn or trim plants, let the trimmings remain on the soil to decompose and release important nutrients for the plants to use or use them in a compost bin.


Use both sides of paper. Keep a collection of scrap paper to reuse.

Wash plastic containers and jars and reuse.

Buy things in plastic or glass containers that can be reused.

Reuse boxes.

Use reusable containers for food instead of disposable boxes, plastic wrap, foil, or sandwich bags.

Reuse plastic bags.

Ask restaurants to use reusable food containers that can be washed (or at least paper which is less damaging to the environment).

Reuse envelopes

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