Quick Tips to Reduce Waste

It’s that time of year again! When you’re out shopping for supplies and planning lunches keep in mind the three R’s to help reduce waste: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Here are some quick tips and handy links for more information.


  • Before buying new supplies, look through last year’s materials for items you already have.
  • When buying, purchase supplies wrapped in minimal packaging, and buy in bulk when possible.
  • If you buy lunch, take only what you will eat. Too often extra food, napkins and condiments go to waste.


  • Bring your lunch to school in reusable containers instead of disposable ones.
  • Bring drinks in a Thermos instead of using disposable bottles or cans.
  • Save packaging, colored paper, egg cartons, etc. for arts and science projects.

Read the EPA's Pack a Waste Free Lunch guide for more tips.

Check out these reusable waste-free lunch bags from Inhabitat.


  • Use the paper recycling bins at home and at school.
  • If you use disposable drink containers, recycle all cans and bottles.
  • Break down cardboard and other recyclable packaging materials.

Tips for using recycled materials in classroom activities from WeAreTeachers.com

Visit EPA.gov for more tips on how to reduce waste at home.