Guide to Reducing Waste

Over 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated in the United States every year. That’s equivalent to 4.9 pounds per person per day. Of that waste generated, only 32% is recycled every year. That means most our waste is ending up in landfills, dumps, incinerators and even the ocean. Municipal solid waste not only poses a major threat to wildlife habitats but also to human health. According to the Global Footprint Network, it would take 5 Earths to support the human population if everyone’s consumption patterns were the same as the average American. The good news is we have the power to do something about it! The more we can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the less we will harm our environment.


The most important of the Three R’s is Reducing the amount of material consumed in the first place. The best way to start is by tracking the amount of waste you are producing. Once you know where your waste is coming from, the easier it will be to identify how to reduce it!

Follow these tips:

  • Use reusable bags for all your shopping needs
  • Carry a reusable water bottle or travel mug
  • Use reusable rags and bottles for cleaning
  • Opt out of paper mail, bills, ads, junk mail, and phone books
  • Buy food items with little to no packaging
  • Use reusable containers and reusable food wrap for food storage
  • Pack reusable cutlery when heading out for a meal
  • Go straw-less or purchase a reusable straw
  • Ask yourself, do I really need this?


The second step to reducing your waste is Reusing items. You don’t have to buy new items whenever you need something. Look around your house or explore your local community to see what you can buy secondhand or make yourself!

Follow these tips:

  • Buy secondhand clothes, bags, cutlery
  • DIY items like soap and cleaners
  • Borrow a book from a friend or a library
  • Find old jars in your house to store dry foods or leftovers
  • Turn an old shirt into a reusable produce bag or cleaning rag


The final step to waste reduction is Recycling materials. This step involves collecting and repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

  • Check out our A-Z Disposal Guide to find out how to recycle your items!

Feel free to give us a call at 802-524-5986 if you would like more information and pointers on how to reduce your waste!