Reduce and Reuse

   “Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.” – Dalai Lama

Step 2: Reduce

Reduce addresses the core issue of our waste problem. We can reduce simply by having awareness of what it is we need and want. Well-made products that last longer will ultimately reduce waste overall. Try these tips:

  1. Can you find the item you need used?
  2. Buy products with less packaging.
  3. Buy reusable over disposable items.
  4. Make a meal plan to reduce food waste.
  5. Maintain and repair products.
  6. Could you borrow, rent, or share things that you don’t use a lot?
  7. Move to electronic newsletters to eliminate excess mailings and flyers.

What are your current habits, and are there simple ways you might reduce product consumption?

Step 3: Reuse – One Person’s Junk is Another’s Treasure

Ditch disposable for reusable! Almost everything we buy and use ends up being thrown away.  It goes to the landfill, become litter, or pollutes our oceans and contributes to the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Reusing items is a great way to reduce our consumption and make the most of resources!

Reuse and repair go together—and can be used to extend the life of clothing, furniture, and technology. Reuse might mean donating your used items to a thrift shop or selling. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Away from home, have reusable with you: water bottle, coffee cup, straws, cutlery, and shopping bags.
  • At home, use cloth napkins, reusable food containers, beeswax wrap, and reusable storage bags.
  • Consider checking out thrift stores and community listservs for items.

 

READ PART 2 OF THIS SERIES—STEP 1: REFUSE

READ PART 1 OF THIS SERIES—THE FIVE Rs: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE BY REDUCING YOUR WASTE

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Laurie Gelb

Laurie Gelb

Laurie Gelb is the Co-op's Member Engagement Specialist. Contact her at LaurieGelb@coopfoodstore.com.