How to Reduce Waste at Home – 101 Ways to Reduce Waste

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Becoming more conscious of what you consume and send to the landfill isn’t all that difficult. It takes knowing how to reduce waste at home and in many different areas of your life, which is why I’ve cultivated a list of 101 ways to reduce waste.

By focusing on reducing your waste, you can live more sustainably and take pride in the efforts you are making. It doesn’t matter how big or small your efforts are, as long as you’re doing your best.

One thing I want you to be conscious of while you read through this list is that you don’t have to do everything on this list have an impact and make a difference. In fact, it is hard for me to do all of these things all of the time.

The most important thing is that you’re consistent with doing your best! Consistency is the long-term key to successful changes.

Start with a Trash Audit to Reduce Waste in Your Life //

Before we dive into the things you can do, you first need to know what you’re actually sending to the landfills. While you need to start with combing through your trash, I also suggest using a journal to document what you’re throwing away.

Identify what you are tossing that you can recycle and compost.

Remember how I said not to worry about doing everything on this list? Well, that is because not all areas have a recycling program for each plastic you’re throwing away.

By writing down what the item is and what recycling number it has on it, you can consciously look for better alternatives. You can even contact the company to ask if they have a recycling program for that packaging or if they are seeking out different options.

Another thing you should do when combing through your trash is to pull out any food waste that is compostable, any paper that could still be recycled, and any packaging that is recyclable that needs washing.

If you’re unsure of what can be recycled in your area, contact your local trash service provider, as well as local stores like Target or Walmart. I’m told they offer bins to recycle certain things. Yes, I, too, am still learning all the different ways you can keep using a resource.

101 Ways to Reduce Waste at Home

Before we dive into the list, I do want to point out that I categorized these things to make this list easier to digest. Also, there are still more ways to reduce waste in your home, so if you think of something that is not included in this list, please share them below in the comments!

Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

9 Ways to Reduce Single-Use Waste //

Related Post: How to Live More Sustainably with Not A Trace, Co. – A Zero Waste Online Shop

Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

25 Ways to Reduce Waste in the Kitchen //

  • Compost food scraps
  • Purchase things you regularly consume in bulk
  • Use eggshells in the flower beds, garden, chicken feed, etc.
  • Save the ends and regrow vegetables like onions and celery
  • Freeze bananas when they are too ripe for banana bread or ice cream
  • Save and eat leftovers, even if there is only a little left
  • Stop using K-cups and invest in a stainless steel cup you can reuse
  • Compost coffee grounds and filters [there are biodegradable and compostable options]
  • Recycle soda cans and aluminum foil
  • Replace plastic food storage containers when their life runs out with stainless steel or glass
  • Use beeswax wraps versus cling wrap
  • Support the local farmers’ markets where food has little to no packaging
  • If you cannot compost for food scraps, take them to the farmers market for the farmers to use
  • Use meal planning as a tool to ensure less food waste
  • Return cartons to farmers for them to reuse
  • Purchase meat from a local farmer to reduce waste in the chain of production
  • Shop your cabinets for meals first
  • Make coffee at home and use a reusable mug
  • Don’t use disposable plates or utensils
  • Reuse cardboard egg cartons to start seeds or organize drawers
  • Grow your own food
  • Store foods properly and they will last longer
  • Opt for loose leaf tea or plastic-free teabags
  • Make your own snack bars versus purchasing individually wrapped snack bars
  • Repair broken appliances
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

11 Ways to Reduce Household Waste //

  • Cut old sheets and towels into cleaning rags
  • Donate old sheets and towels to animal or homeless shelters
  • Turn old pillowcases into reusable produce bags
  • Compost newspaper
  • Reuse glass bottles for DIY gifts
  • Regift things you aren’t going to use
  • Stop using aerosol air fresheners and toxic candles, instead use an essential oil diffuser
  • Go digital with magazine subscriptions
  • Recycle old electronics responsibly
  • Have a cable or phone charger wire coming apart? Find a friend who can fix it.
  • Use cork or a natural product as coasters so that you can compost it in the end
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

13 Ways to Reduce Trash in the Bathroom //

  • Opt for beauty products that aren’t in plastic containers, like shampoo bars or glass jars
  • Look for tampons with applicators that are plastic-free or applicator-free
  • Opt for a menstrual cup and/or reusable pad and/or period panties
  • Use a safety razor versus a traditional plastic razor
  • When you replace your hairbrush, choose wood
  • Opt for bar soap versus liquid in a plastic container
  • Switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush
  • Use silk or a natural floss in a glass container versus plastic floss
  • Use a natural loofah [compostable] versus a plastic loofah
  • Purchase lip balm in a cardboard tube or glass jar
  • Use a magnetic palette for eye shadows, blushes, and powder to create a customized palette full of colors you’ll use
  • Make your own toothpaste or purchase toothpowder in a glass container
  • Look for bath bombs wrapped in paper versus plastic
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

7 Ways to Reduce Waste in the Office //

  • Purchase recycled paper versus newly created paper for the office
  • Invest in a fountain pen that is refillable
  • Go digital with your planner
  • Use a stapleless stapler
  • Compost or recycle paper
  • Stop solicitor mail altogether
  • Opt for paperless billing
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

6 Ways to Reduce Clothing Waste //

  • Cut old shirts into cleaning rags
  • Turn old shirts into shopping bags
  • Repair/mend clothes
  • Stop purchasing cheaply-made clothes. Invest in quality-made clothing.
  • Repair worn shoes
  • Purchase a drycleaners bag to use at home versus taking clothes to the dry cleaners
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

4 Ways to Reduce Cleaning Waste //

  • Purchase a natural concentrate all-purpose cleaner or make your own and use a glass spray bottle for your household cleaning
  • Stop purchasing cleaners for every little thing you clean [window, bath, surface, etc.]
  • Make your own reusable wipes for disinfecting surfaces
  • Replace single-use mop pads with reusable ones
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

4 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste While Out and About //

  • Quit fast food
  • Opt for a reusable straw versus a plastic straw
  • Take your own food storage containers for restaurant leftovers
  • Take your lunch to work/school
Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

22 Unique Ways to Reduce Waste //

  • Buy things package-free when possible
  • Avoid plastic when possible and opt for glass or metal
  • Lint and toilet paper/paper towel rolls can be used together as fire starters
  • Use cardboard boxes as fire starters
  • Use wood ashes for chickens to dust bathe when it is wet and muddy
  • Don’t replace something because the alternative version is currently trendy
  • Refuse handouts that you don’t need
  • Stop retail therapy shopping
  • Recycle all that you can
  • Email Amazon to make a note on your account to not use plastic in your packages
  • Shop locally when possible versus online shopping
  • Sell or donate items you no longer want versus throwing them away
  • Stop chewing gum! It’s made with plastic!
  • See if there is a local artist looking for supplies that you’re tossing into the trash
  • Melt small crayons to create rainbow crayons
  • Take time to think about online purchases. You may remember something you need or decide you don’t really need it.
  • Check local stores to see if they have a recycling program
  • Have a zero-waste kit in all vehicles and a few things in your purse
  • Reuse gift bags and tissue paper
  • Repurpose something you were going to toss
  • Remember quality over quantity
  • Get a Pela phone case versus a plastic case
Total: 101 Ways to Reduce Waste at Home

I hope you’ve learned how to reduce waste at home and are excited to make some changes!

Remember, it isn’t about trying to do everything all at once, but rather taking it one step at a time. Be proud of the changes you can make, and don’t sweat what you can’t change just yet.

Using the journal to document what you are sending to the landfills will help you be conscious of the things you bring into your life and provide consistency with progressing over time.

The world needs every bit of good you can do, but it doesn’t require perfection.

Becoming conscious of what you send to the landfill isn't all that difficult. You just have to know the different ways of how to reduce waste at home.

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8 thoughts on “How to Reduce Waste at Home – 101 Ways to Reduce Waste”

  1. using card board for fire starters, and burning paper as well as magazines and other printed papers… I was told when we had our fireplace cleaned out this was extremely bad for our home and fireplace. It causes lots of dust and ink dispersed into the air we breath, plus blackened our brick. The build up off creosote increases the risk of fire in the firewall it self. It also adds to the frequency of chimney cleaning as well increasing our cost too.

    we used to burn newspaper, trash mail in ours also thinking we were doing a good thing! protecting our privacy as well.

    Now we only burn these items exclusively outside . just passing on what our chimney sweep told us.

    1. Thank you for sharing that information, Rebecca! It is very much appreciated! I know I didn’t go into full detail about how we do things, but we only use it in the wood-burning stove that we have to clean out each year. I’ll make note of the hazard it can have on a chimney for when we build our home. A good bit of what we burn is done in a burn barrel so that when we have too many boxes sitting around, we can still utilize them. We mainly use just enough paper, lint, and cardboard boxes to start the fire. After that, it is all wood.

  2. Love these ideas and I follow most of your suggestions. Currently I’m trying to figure out how to order food for delivery without all the packaging waste. Any ideas? This could be the newest million dollar business…

    1. Susan, you’re absolutely right about a new million-dollar business! There are some restaurants and fast food places that are zero waste, but they are few and far between currently. I live too far out for food delivery, but I would suggest asking the delivery person to stay a second so you can give him back the things you don’t need. For example, napkins, silverware, condiments, etc. You may be able to ask in advance that you don’t receive these things, but giving them back to the food delivery person is where I think you’ll be the most effective. Also, don’t order drinks for delivery. Enjoy what you already have in your fridge. That alone cuts down the waste that can be produced from ordering food. Hope this helps! Remember, it isn’t about being perfect, but doing everything in your power to reduce waste.

  3. Danelle Chaddock

    Such a great list! I’m inspired to make additional changes to our routines.
    Also you may want to check out using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets – chemical free, no static cling, fully reusable and thereby zero waste. We love ours!

  4. I absolutely love the idea of the sandwich wraps! I’m thinking if I decide to make them, I’ll take the iron and ironing board outside and fuse the plastic out there versus trying to do it in the house as I’m extremely sensitive to smells and get migraines from strong scents and smells. Hubby takes lunches every day and I cringe at the number of sandwich bags we go through, so assuming I can convince him to use these (LOL!), this would be a great way to reduce our plastic use.

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