Reduce & Reuse
Compared to creating products or packaging from virgin resources, recycling conserves resources, saves energy, and reduces pollution. Two other options, however, are even better than recycling: reducing and reusing.
Reducing means minimizing waste before it has a chance to be created. This concern has prompted manufacturers to try a variety of innovative strategies ranging from reducing packaging on CDs to reducing the thickness of the plastic and aluminum used to package beverages.
Reusing means choosing durable products that can be used over and over again. This sounds like common sense, but two factors are working against this practice:
- the convenience of disposable products
- rapidly changing technology that quickly renders items obsolete
Listed below are links to resources that will help you reduce waste and consumption, reuse what you already have, and generally promote more sustainable practices at home, work, or school:
Reducing Food Waste
LOTS of resources – including downloadable PDFs and videos – with convenient ways to reduce food waste and save money. Includes local organizations that accept food donations, and state guidelines on food waste.
Holiday Waste-Reduction Ideas
Here’s how to keep your impact to a minimum while decorating, shopping, partying and otherwise celebrating Christmas and other winter holidays.
Waste-Free Gift Ideas
Tips for giving gifts in any season.
Detox Your Home in 4 Steps
Alternatives to hazardous chemicals around your home, and other resources to clear the toxic clutter.
Reuse Stores and Charities in Chittenden County
A list of dozens of local organizations and the items that they accept. Donations to many of the organizations are tax deductible.
ReUse Zones at CSWD Drop-Off Centers
Every CSWD Drop-Off Center has a “reuse zone” for items with some life left in them. Pick up an item or drop one off. Items are accepted at the discretion of the DOC operator. Fees may be charged to cover potential disposal cost of historically unwanted items.
Packaging reuse options
Local organizations that accept styrofoam, packing peanuts, and inflated plastic pillows for reuse.
Sharing & Repairing
Resources in the community and on the web to help you get your items repaired.
Global Garage Sale
An E-bay consignment shop located in Colchester, Vermont. They will sell unwanted items for you, and give you a percentage.
Front Porch Forum
Vermont-based website that gives members free access to post items for sale or giveaway to neighborhood members.
Online Swap and Share Resources
Alternatives to getting rid of your books, DVDs, CDs, and more.
Used Medical Equipment
Free online classifieds where you can find new or used Assistive Technology (AT) devices, software and equipment.
Join the Burlington group and post items you have to give away. You may be surprised at the things you have that other people are interested in!
An online community posting service for buying, selling, exchanging or giving away items, organized into categories.
Guide To Sharing in your Community
A free PDF download with ideas for sharing all sorts of things.
A regional exchange platform for businesses to find, sell, trade, or give away reusable and surplus items.
Learn even more!
Center for the New American Dream
National organization dedicated to helping people live consciously and buy wisely
Community Waste Reduction Events
Community events sponsored by CSWD and other local environmental organizations that provide tools and information to help people lessen their individual carbon footprint