Waste Reduction Week 

Shopping 

Smart shopping is the most important way to reduce waste. Shoppers have the power to prevent waste before it begins. Consider a product's energy efficiency, recycled content, design for the environment, packaging and the manufacturer's social responsibility (labor practices, etc.) before buying. Some shopping tips:

  • For every item you buy, think of how you will consume it, store it, maintain it or dispose of it. Buy only what you need.
  • Only keep things you enjoy or use regularly. Give unused or unwanted items to a second-hand store or charity.
  • Buy products, not packaging. You'll save money and energy. In the produce section, you can pay up to 45% more for food packaged on a shrink-wrapped plastic tray and you'll be paying twice - first for the cost of the product, then to dispose of it!
  • Buy bulk—it reduces packaging and costs less. Buy only what you need and consider splitting extra-large items with friends and family.
  • Buy organic—foods produced without synthetic herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals and which have not been genetically modified or irradiated use fewer resources and require less energy than conventional agricultural practices.
  • Buy green—products that are environmentally friendly. Many cleaning products don't contain harsh chemicals, which reduces environmental impact.
  • Buy local—transportation consumes huge amounts of fossil fuels and adds to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Buy recycled—take note of the percentage of recycled content that is "post-consumer". Post-consumer recycled products (as opposed to post industrial) are in fact, "more recycled" because individuals have already used them.