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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:

  1. the convenience of disposable products
  2. 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.

Sustainable Shopping Tips

Stop Junk Mail


Stores, charities, and online options for reuse 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.

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.

Online Resources

Front Porch Forum
Vermont-based website that gives members free access to post items for sale or giveaway to neighborhood members.

Online Book Rental Clubs
This service works like Netflix for books: Book Lender.

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!

Craigslist (Vermont)
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.

Reuse Marketplace

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.