Reduce is the first option in the waste management hierarchy and it is the first step you can take to help protect our environment. Before you purchase a product, evaluate the life-cycle of the product you are purchasing. What will the product be used for; how long it will be used and what will happen to it when you are done being used?
Reducing our consumption of nonessential products will help to ensure natural resources are preserved, litter is prevented, materials will not unnecessarily end up in the landfill and global carbon emissions will be reduced. To put it simply, if you don’t need it; don’t buy it.
Waste reduction is not a new concept for our country. During World War II, Americans were encouraged to support the troops through conservation. Americans reduced demand for food by growing “victory gardens,” conserved fuel by ride sharing, and limited consumption of new goods by repairing broken items.
Consumers, including yourself, play an important role in the future of waste reduction. Consumers have the power to drive innovation at businesses by requesting products that have been designed intentionally through life-cycle assessments. Consumers can voice their opinions to businesses in a variety of ways including emailing their customer service, direct messaging them through social media or calling their corporate headquarters. By, using your voice and your purchasing power, you can help drive demand for businesses to do their part to recreate the design of products to reduce waste and using recycled materials in their products.
- Reduce While Shopping
- When shopping, avoid unnecessary packaging by purchasing bulk amounts and not using plastic bags for produce.