According to the EPA, waste reduction is described as ‘using less material to get a job done.’ Waste reduction and prevention methods help create less waste in the first place – before recycling. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is by cutting back on what you consume daily, including energy, water, and solid waste.
By watching what you buy, you can help with waste reduction. That includes the following easy guidelines:
- Buy durable products instead of those that are disposable or cheaply made.
- Repair/restore used items before replacing them.
- Buy items you can reuse – Reusing margarine tubs to freeze foods or pack lunches, for instance, reduces the need for foil or plastic wrap.
- Buy items you can recycle locally through curbside collection or recycling centers.
- Avoid excess packaging when choosing product brands.
- Buy just the amount you need – buying in bulk often reduces the amount of packaging, but smaller sizes reduce the amount of leftover waste.
According to the EPA, about 75 percent of what is found in the average garbage can is recyclable, yet our national recycling rate hovers at around 34 percent, so there is definitely room for improvement.