How to be a Smart Consumer

Waste Prevention

A large component of Zero Waste involves realizing that the creation of waste is often not necessary. There are many things that we can do as consumers to prevent waste.

Reuse Your Bags

Use reusable bags every time you go shopping instead of plastic ones. This is why:

  • Each year billions of bags end up in our streets as litter.
  • Production requires vast amounts of oil.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, but instead break down into small toxic particles polluting our soil and waterways.
  • Recent studies have shown that plastic outnumbers plankton 6:1 in the ocean.

Tips on how to be a Smart Consumer

  • Buy products that have long life spans – avoid disposable items.
  • Buy products that have minimal packaging.
  • Buy products in their concentrated form.
  • Buy only what you need. Consuming less, you dispose of less waste.
  • Consider buying in bulk for those necessary purchases. You will save money and reduce packaging.

Buy Products Made from Recycled Material (and Products that can be Recycled)

Buy products that are made from recycled materials. This encourages manufacturers to produce more. Buy products that are easy to recycle. This puts materials back in the loop for use in other products.

Other Waste Prevention Tips

  • Save paper, time and postage by paying your bills online.
  • As the price of paper, cards and postage increases, consider emailing e-cards.
  • When printing documents, print on both sides of the paper.
  • Email documents and information instead of printing and mailing them.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.

Moving and not Wasting

The average American moves every two years. Think about the amount of waste created each time you move from one place to another. 

Here is what you can do for an eco-friendly move: Look for eco-friendly moving companies that provide packing materials.