How to Reduce Waste at Home With a Simple System

Unique, Simple Ideas For Greener Living

how to reduce waste at home

Convenience is, well… convenient… but it comes with some big consequences. Many things that are convenient create a lot of waste. Excess harmful packing materials, discarded cartons, wrappers, and plastic are filling up in our landfills and oceans. Here we will share some helpful ideas on how to reduce waste at home

Throwing your garbage into the bin and putting it at the curb might seem easy enough, but it’s only the beginning of truly “throwing your garbage away.”

It ends up either:

  • In a landfill
  • Recycled
  • Composted
  • Burned
  • Dumped illegally

Depending on where you live, you may have a modern waste management operation in your city or town. Or, you may rely on the same sorts of waste management that have been around for years.

Some folks practice waste management at home by:

  • Recycling
  • Composting
  • Burning

These at-home methods can help reduce waste in public landfills, but they can add to some forms of pollution if they don’t follow safe practices.

how to reduce waste at home
Plastic bags are so light, they tend to blow out of garbage trucks. They blow and wash into trees, waterways, and eventually make their way into oceans.

One of the best ways to contribute to waste management solutions is to avoid waste altogether. If possible, seek alternatives to waste-producing products in your everyday life.

Some examples could include:

  • Using reusable bottles for drinks like water
  • Buying items in bulk and using reusable storage containers
  • Using reusable cloth shopping bags
  • Recycle clothing rather than discarding it
  • Donating items rather than discarding them

There are many ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle items and waste from your home. Get creative and find new ways to prevent waste and manage waste that you can’t avoid. It can be fun learning new and better ways to purchase goods without excess packaging.

Avoiding waste and finding alternatives to throwing things away are great ways to reduce the impact waste has on your local landfills. Over time, this contributes to the collective impact waste management has globally.

What you do in your own home can actually make a difference on land, in the air, and the sea!

Reduce Reuse and Recycle – How To Reduce Waste at Home

how to reduce waste at home

Getting back to basics is always a good thing. Keeping the main thing, the main thing can make things easier. When it comes to waste – reduce, reuse, and recycle are the standards for in-home waste management.

Tackling waste from these three angles can make it easier to:

Reduce the amount and type of waste that comes into your home
Reuse items in smart, clever ways, making them valuable rather than wasteful
Recycle items so they can be made into new, useful items

Reduce, reuse, and recycle making the most of your waste


Reducing waste is a first step for keeping your home clean and reducing the overall waste footprint on the planet. Reducing the amount of waste you bring into your home means you won’t have to dispose of, reuse, or recycle anything. That’s a good thing!

Here are some alternatives that can help reduce the waste that comes into your home:

Buying in bulk saves on single-use packaging, which eliminates waste. Buy items in bulk and repackage them at home using reusable containers that you can use over and over again.

Bring your snacks. By bringing food from home on trips or daily activities, you can significantly reduce the purchase of single-use products or wrappers and packaging from fast-food and restaurants.


Reusing items is a second best-practice for reducing the amount of waste you generate. Getting creative can help make items that might have been discarded useful in new ways.

Here are some alternatives that can help reduce waste by reusing items in smart ways:

Reuse plastic packaging, including bags and containers, for your next trip to the store. You can easily wash and save produce bags or other types of storage bags to refill again and again each time you shop.

Reuse cardboard for crafting. Many items are shipped directly to our homes these days. There’s a lot of cardboard that potentially becomes waste as soon as a box is opened. Use high-quality cardboard for crafting supplies for all ages.


Recycling is easier than ever. Most waste management companies encourage recycling and provide separate cans for recyclable items. There are additional ways to recycle items that may not fit into a typical recycling bin.

Here are some alternatives that can help reduce waste by recycling:

Some shoe stores recycle shoes to be broken down and made into new shoes or donated to charities that provide gently used footwear to people in need.

Some companies create wonderfully imaginative items out of recyclables. From safe playground equipment made from recycled plastic material to materials like asphalt and cat litter made from 100% recycled materials.

You can significantly reduce the impact your in-home waste makes on your local landfill and your planet by getting back to basics with in-home waste management.

Tips to Reduce Waste in Your Everyday Life

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Most people are pretty clear on waste-management when it comes to throwing things away. Tossing things into the garbage is second nature. After all, nobody wants a messy home, right?

Cleaning up after yourself and tossing items as you go is a normal part of everyday life. Some people are very good at recycling too. They separate their paper, plastics, and metals and make sure they are appropriately placed on the curb each week for the garbage guy.

These are great practices and go a long way to keep your home neat and tidy, but what about the impact on your community and your planet?

Tossing items out and sending them off with the garbage guy simply moves waste from one location to another. It isn’t gone; it’s simply gone from your house. One solution to reduce the overall waste is to reduce waste in your everyday life. The less waste you create, the less you send off for the community to deal with.

Here are some great tips for managing and reducing waste in your everyday life

Tip #1:

Use refillable containers. Many companies offer refills that use less packaging. By purchasing one-and-done containers and refilling them, you can quickly reduce waste over time.

Tip #2:

Get the most out of your products. Many products might seem empty when they aren’t. There are clever hacks for opening cartons, tubes, and containers to access gels, creams, pastes, and more. Find new ways to be sure you get every ounce of product from your containers, and you’ll reduce your waste and save money.

Tip #3:

Share the load. Buying in bulk saves time, money, and creates less waste. If you have a smaller household or don’t need a large supply of a product, find a buddy, and buy bulk items together. You both will benefit from generating less waste and saving money.

Tip #4:

Find the perfect container. A lot of waste comes from single-use containers. Items like snack foods, fast foods, single-use beverages, and other consumable items increase the amount of waste significantly. Find containers that you can use over and again for your daily coffee, water, snack foods, and more, and you can lower the impact of waste in your daily life.

There are lots of ways to reduce waste in your everyday life. Each one adds together with the others to make a really big dent in the amount and type of waste your community manages. You may not be able to make an impact everywhere with your efforts, but you can make a very big impact right where you live every day.

Unique Ideas That Help Reduce Waste

There are typical ways everyone knows to reduce waste. Reducing what you purchase, supporting companies that trim packaging, reusing items in new ways, and recycling items that can be remanufactured into entirely new things. Each of these ideas works well and makes an important impact on waste management.

Thinking out of the box and getting creative can help reduce waste in unique ways, you might not have thought of. There are a lot of ways that you can reduce, reuse, and recycle items and bring new value with some ingenuity and effort. Take a look!

Once you think out of the box, there are a lot of ways to reduce waste in creative ways. By putting a new twist on an old idea, you might even be able to avoid throwing things away altogether and make money at the same time.

Here are some ideas to consider.


Composting is nature’s way of using decomposition to get rid of waste. Composted items change form to create organic matter that can be used as soil, fertilizer, and other resources. No matter how large an item used to be, once composted, it takes up very little space and becomes something useful rather than waste. You can compost whole food waste, paper, and other organic products at home and reduce the amount of waste you send to your landfill. You can even sell compost soil or worms that live in the rich dirt you create.

Did you know? Many things can be composted – even humans! The trend for organic burial and human composting is on the rise. While it might not be for everyone, being buried and composted is one of the options to reduce your waste footprint.

Create a Business

You can create a livelihood from reducing, reusing, and recycling. There is a trend for repurposing items into new and valuable things people want to buy.

Vintage items like handbags and jewelry can be taken apart and made into new on-trend pieces. Using online platforms like Instagram, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace, it’s never been easier to get creative and make a business from items people might otherwise discard.

Did you know? One company has used lace tablecloths to make one-size-fits-all apparel for the mother-to-be and bridal photography. By upcycling an item meant for an entirely different use, this company has created a buzz and income with their unique idea.

Co-operative Living

Co-operative living takes many forms. From creating tiny homes from shipping containers to hosting community gardens, people are creating co-operative ways to sustain housing and food sources. This sort of living used to be considered on the fringe and hippy-esque but has a wider appeal as people become more conscious about the costs of living and the impact waste has on the planet.

Did you know? Many countries have used communal living as a lifestyle for centuries. Some countries incorporate young adults living with senior citizens in nursing home environments to help bridge the gap between the ages and provide companionship and support on both ends of the age spectrum.

Reducing waste and increasing your impact on your community and planet has unlimited options. The more creative you get, the more unique your opportunities. Try to think of new and exciting ways to reduce waste, and you might even profit from your idea.

Make Reducing Waste a Game the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Reducing waste should be a family affair. Teaching children the benefits of reducing waste and doing their part to conserve the planet is an essential part of parenting. Children not only model what they see, but they also get excited when they are a part of the process. With some practice, you can make reducing waste a game the whole family can enjoy.

It doesn’t take much to engage the family in good waste-management practices. You can do simple things like teach recycling and throwing things away in their proper places, but you can also get creative and find new and innovative ways to reduce waste.

Consider these ideas:

Talk About Waste Management

Take the opportunity to educate your family about what waste is and how it can be reduced, reused, and recycled. Make a game of learning about waste management by watching YouTube videos. Take the kids for a trip to the local waste management facility or recycling plant.

Two Heads are Better Than One

You may have some great ideas for reducing waste in your household, but two – or more – heads are always better than one. Get the whole family involved in finding new ways to reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle. Create tabletop topics for dinner time or include waste management in your next family meeting.

Set a Goal and Earn a Prize

Recycling can be fun and profitable. Saving bottles and cans can earn money but there are other ways to make a profit too. Host a garage sale or help your kids get creative and upcycle items that can be sold. Set a goal for your earnings and use the income for a family purchase or trip.

Encourage and Celebrate Ingenuity

The collective minds within a family are a treasure trove of knowledge. Encourage your family to be creative in the ways they reduce, reuse, and recycle. Celebrate their ingenuity and praise their efforts to make a positive impact through conservation. Rewarding their behavior will make it natural and likely that they keep up the excellent work.

Families who are conscientious about social issues raise children who understand the bigger picture and tend to think globally as well as locally. Instilling a sense of ownership and responsibility to their home, community, and the world helps develop their collective consciousness and awareness of the great need for everyone to do their part to reduce and manage waste.

how to reduce waste at home
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Written by Jackie Parker

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