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Waste prevention tips

Choose durables – they pay off!

Have you noticed how many disposable products there are in the marketplace today? Consider the following:

  • Disposable razors
  • Disposable cleaning products, such as wipes
  • Single-use cameras, including new single-use digital cameras
  • Disposable flashlights
  • Disposable cell phones

These products are designed to add convenience to our lives, but is the added convenience worth the extra cost? Reduce waste, conserve resources and save money by choosing cloth shopping bags and real dishes and cups.

Additional information on the benefits of durables over disposables is available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (external).

Pay attention to packaging

Packaging makes up as much as one third of the non-industrial solid waste stream. This places a burden on landfill facilities and wastes natural resources. Reduce the amount of packaging you "buy" to prevent waste and conserve resources by selecting products with less packaging.

Additional information on packaging reduction is available from the U.S. EPA (external PDF), and StopWaste.org (external).

Get the most out of what you buy

All of the things that we buy today will eventually become waste. We can get more out of the things we purchase by choosing products wisely. When buying a new product, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How reliable is the product?
  • How long will I need it?
  • How does the warranty compare with that of similar products?
  • What does it really cost (considering operation and maintenance)?
  • Can the product be repaired or upgraded?

Rent or borrow instead of buying

Consider renting or borrowing, instead of buying, items that you will use only infrequently. Items that are commonly available for rent include trailers, camping equipment, lawn care equipment, tables and chairs, ladders, power tools and tree-trimming equipment.

Learn more about our local sharing economy from our King County EcoConsumer.

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Updated: May. 6, 2015


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