Reduce, REUSE, Repurpose, Recycle

Educational Resources


    Solid Waste Management Hierarchy

    What can YOU do to reduce the amount of trash generated each day?

    Reduce. REUSE. Repurpose. Recycle.  The Solid Waste Management Hierarchy lists reuse as one of preferred waste management options. You can reuse items by using them over and over again for the same or alternate purposes, repairing them for reuse, donating them to charity and community groups, or swapping them. If you reuse an item it does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. Check out our Pinterest page for ways to reuse items at home, in the garden, in a classroom, and more!


    DYK? If 100 people used a reusable thermos they would save 50,000 disposable cups per year!

    Easy ways to reuse:

    • Carry a durable and refillable water bottle
    • Use reusable travel mug for coffee or other beverages while also saving money. Some coffee shops will give a small discount for bringing your own mug.
    • Take your own reusable tote bag when shopping.
    • Pack a reusable lunch bag with reusable utensils ( no single use items such as plastic utensils or straws)
    • Use cloth napkins or hand towels
    • Purchase refillable pens and pencils
    • Donate things such as magazines, “gently used” clothing, children’s toys, surplus equipment to a school, church, or a local charity
    • Repair items. Check out DIY videos for simple repairs.
    • Upcycle. Turn an item you no longer want into something different with a new purpose. Repurpose, refinish, reclaim outdated items.
    • Participate in a paint collection and reuse program.
    • Styles and clothing change with the season, but clothing does not have to go to waste. Shop consignment shops, or have a clothing swap.
    • Have a garage sale!


    Additional resources include: