According to the EPA, “The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy: raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated and then transported to wherever it will be sold. As a result, reduction and reuse are the most effective ways you can save natural resources, protect the environment, and save money.” To help reduce waste:
Buy used. You can find everything from clothes to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignment shops. Often, used items are less expensive and just as good as new.
Look for products that use less packaging. When manufacturers make their products with less packaging, they use less raw material. This reduces waste and costs. These savings can be passed on to the consumer. Buying in bulk, for example, can reduce packaging and save money.
Buy reusable over disposable items. Look for items that can be reused; the little things can add up. For example, you can bring your own silverware and cup to work, rather than using disposable items.
Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tires, and appliances, so that they won't have to be thrown out and replaced as frequently.
Borrow, rent, or share items that are used infrequently, like party decorations, tools, or furniture.
Reduce Your Single Use
Reduce Your Food Waste
The EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash. Visit our Food Waste webpage for tips on how to reduce your food waste.
In addition, Orange County Solid Waste Management can help individuals, businesses, and institutions "starve the landfill and feed the soil" by composting their organic wastes including yard waste and kitchen scraps. Contact Orange County Solid Waste Management for more information at 919-968-2788.