Reduction is the highest priority component of the 3 R’s Approach (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). The following are just a few of the easy ways to reduce you waste output.

  1. Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store. Keep a couple in the car just in case.
  2. Write lists or notes on the back of scrap paper.
  3. Choose cloth diapers over disposables.
  4. Take a lunch box or reusable bag, instead of a paper or plastic bag.
  5. Pack lunch items in reusable containers such as Tupperware or thermoses.
  6. Take your own mug to the coffee shop. It’s often cheaper too!
  7. Take you egg cartons back to local retailers at venues such as farmer’s markets.
  8. Attempt to repair broken appliances instead of buying new.
  9. Avoid pre-packaged food and products.
  10. Wrap gifts in newspaper, magazines, or old posters.
  11. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
  12. Donate unwanted yet still useful items to charities instead of disposing of them.
  13. Use rags for cleanup instead of paper towels
  14. Buy rechargeable batteries.
  15. Buy products in refillable or recyclable containers.
  16. Take wire coat hangers that you no longer need to the dry cleaners.
  17. Spend a little more to buy durable goods that will last longer and save you money in the long run.
  18. Buy the item with the least packaging when choosing between two equally good products.
  19. Share with friends and neighbours those infrequently used items such as tools and heavier equipment.
  20. Ask friends or relatives if they can use your leftover paints.
  21. Purchase a reusable coffee filter.
  22. Use cedar chips instead of moth balls.
  23. Organize a skate exchange, toy exchange, or any other kind of exchange.
  24. If you have an idea on how manufacturers can cut down on their packaging waste, write them with your suggestion.
  25. Compost kitchen scraps and yard waste.
  26. If possible, take your compostables home from work in the containers in which you brought your lunch.
  27. Photocopy and print on both sides of the paper.
  28. Keep some scrap paper by your printer to print out draft copies.
  29. Buy paper that has post-consumer recycled content.
  30. At the office, circulate memos instead of duplicating them.
  31. Take the time to eat-in rather than take-out.
  32. Try to use reusable dinnerware and silverware when eating instead of paper plates and plastic utensils.
  33. Use compost instead of chemical fertilizer.
  34. Consider donating old blankets and towels to a local animal shelter. Be sure to call ahead first.
  35. Have your name and address removed from the Canadian Marketing Association’s mailing list by registering here.