Rethink and reduce tips

Rethink your buying habits to reduce the waste you generate.

Before you buy

  • Evaluate if you need it. Consider the cost in time and money to maintain it. Think about what you’ll do with it when you’re done with it.
  • Consider buying used items. For retailers who sell used items, visit Choose to Reuse.
  • Rent or borrow items you don’t use often
  • Use up what you have. Check to see if you already have the product you want to purchase.


  • Buy good-quality, reusable, durable goods. Avoid trendy and disposable items.
  • Look for items with minimal or recyclable packaging. Purchase items in bulk and in concentrate.
  • Buy green. Look for credible labels. Be aware of some terms that may not mean anything, such as environmentally friendly, earth-friendly and natural.
  • Buy the right amount for your needs. Plan and measure before you buy. Purchase only what you can use before it expires.

After you buy

  • Take good care of your items to extend their life.
  • Repurpose your items. Find a creative new use for your old stuff.
  • Make use of your reusable items. Remember your shopping bags, water bottles, mugs, napkins, towels, and food containers to cut down on waste.­