Reduce & Reuse

While recycling and composting are great habits that can reduce your environmental footprint, the greatest impact individuals can have on the waste stream is by reducing consumption and reusing products when possible. These actions help prevent the traditional one-way stream of waste and are often easy habits that can be built into our everyday lives. Use the tips below to help you reduce and reuse:

Shop Smart 

Ask yourself these simple questions when you’re thinking of purchasing an item:

  • Do I need this, and do I need it now?
  • Was it made sustainably?
  • Can I rent or borrow this item?
  • Can I buy this used?
  • How much time and money will I spend maintaining this item?
  • Does it have too much packaging?
  • What will I do with it when it breaks, or I no longer want it?

Repair What You Already Have 

Attend a Fix-It Clinic to get free help repairing and mending household items

Stop Junk Mail

The average American received more than 26 pounds of junk mail every year. Visit the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) website to find out how to be removed from unsolicited marketing mailings.

Avoid Wasted Food 

Food we throw out wastes a lot of resources — energy, water, land and money. Save food by planning ahead, prepping for the week, storing food properly, and eating what you buy. Learn more at Dakota County’s food waste webpage.

Fix or Donate

Find local repair, rental, and donation options near you using the Reduce and Reuse Map