Reduce Your Waste

It's not just about throwing less away. When it comes to limiting the trash that your family produces, here's how to cut back from top to bottom at home.


Reduce Waste by buying in bulk

Bulk up

To eliminate some of the excess packaging piling up in landfills, encourage your family to shop for snacks, cereal, and pasta in the bulk section of your grocery store (if yours doesn’t have any bulk items, check out a nearby natural food shop). Then, store it all in reusable glass jars.

Reduce Waste by donating clothes and toys

Give back

Recycle whatever—and whenever—you can. This includes clothes you’ve grown out of and old toys. Instead of sending them to the dump, donate them to friends or family or to a local thrift store.

Reduce Waste by minimizing mail

Minimize your mail

Is your mailbox always full of catalogs? Talk to your family about reducing junk mail by visiting websites like and

Reduce Waste by using reusable containers and water bottles

Reach for reusable

Instead of packing your sandwich and snacks in plastic bags, use reusable containers or cloth sacks instead. Same goes for your drink: Skip the juice boxes and opt for a refillable water bottle.

Reduce Waste by using cloth bags

Bag it

Reduce the amount of plastic bags clogging up our trash and oceans by shopping with reusable bags instead.

Reduce Waste by packing fruit

Toss in fruit

Pack an apple, a banana, or an orange. Fruit fills you up in a healthy way, plus there’s no need for extra packaging. (Save the core, peels, and rinds for your compost bin.)

Reduce Waste by using cloth napkins

Nix paper napkins and wipe out paper towels

It’s estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper. Save some branches by bringing a cloth napkin that you can wash and reuse. Then clean up in an eco-friendly way by using cloths instead of paper towels. Make your own rags by cutting up old towels or clothes headed to the donation bin.


Using these tips, keep track of the trash you toss. Every week, try to throw out less and less and see how much you can minimize your waste in a month. Some people have managed to put an entire year’s worth of garbage in one jar. Can you beat that?


Credits: Billion Photos, Shutterstock (bulk); GoodMood Photo, Shutterstock; Photka, Shutterstock; HomeStudio, Shutterstock; Africa Studio, Shutterstock; HomeStudio, Shutterstock; 5 Second Studio, Shutterstock

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