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Wage War On Waste – 100 Things We Can Do Without!
Amy

Posted on | April 11, 2012 | 104 Comments

We are Waging War on Waste with the goal that Earth Day will not just be a day in April, but every day.  The amount of waste generated in the U.S. is staggering.  Americans throw away enough plastic bottles each year to circle the earth four times.  Americans send 3,000 tons of paper towels to landfills each day.  The average American uses 900 grocery bags per year and less than 1% are recycled.  We can do better by adopting simple eco-habits that can have a big impact.  Help us make a list of 100 Things We Can Do Without to get the War on Waste rolling.

Here are a few ideas from us to get the list started:

1. Bottled Water – Use a Reusable Water Bottle.

2. Plastic Straws – Use glass straws.

3. Pre-packaged single serving snacks –  Make or buy in bulk and use reusable containers.

4. Paper towels/napkins – Use PeopleTowels.

5. Paper or plastic shopping bags – Use reusable bags for groceries, shopping, snacks, & lunches.

Comment on this post and tell us what other wasteful items and their waste-free alternatives we can add to our list.  Then join us at the Holistic Moms Network Twitter Party on April 24th (7pm PST) to be eligible to win great reusable products from Vapur, Strawesome, Eco Vessel, and PeopleTowels.

The average American uses 900 grocery bags per year. Less than 1% are recycled.
Americans throw away enough plastic bottles each year to circle the earth four times.
Americans send 3,000 tons of paper towels to landfills each day.
Paper towels = 254 million tons of trash ev
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Comments

104 Comments so far

  1. 6. Disposable Diapers- Use cloth!

    ~Terri
    @EcoCrazyMom

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  2. What I do with my toilet paper roll inserts is I fold the bottoms and use them as seed starters for my garden. So If I need to start some seeds of tomatoes they work great for that. No need to toss them and the roots grow right through them.

    Comment by soulfliesfree — April 24, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  3. Instead of wrapping paper make cloth bags out of fabric scraps or old fabrics.

    For eaters baskets used shredded paper that can be recyled I stead of Easter grass.

    Comment by Jeannine s @mellanhead — April 24, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

  4. lol I was just telling people today what are the 100 things you would need to live with and thrive- could you survive with 100 things- and some of these things we on the waste- never use- love it

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  5. we can all do without so much- excessive cleaners and cans, excessive things period- we all of a sudden became of world of entitlement and excess and really have screwed this place up- lets step back and breathe, take baby steps to get back

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

  6. Tampons/Pads – Switch to a more eco-friendly alternative, like a cup, reusable/washable pads/liners, or sponge tampons.

    Comment by Sabrina — April 24, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  7. Maybe not completely, but disposable diapers would be one to give up.

    Comment by Rebecca — April 24, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  8. And along those lines, using reusable wipes or wash clothes instead of disposable baby wipes–esp for those less messy diaper changes.

    Comment by Rebecca — April 24, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

  9. And along those lines, using reusable wipes or wash cloths instead of disposable baby wipes–esp for those less messy diaper changes.

    Comment by Rebecca — April 24, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

  10. We always use old towels to clean our dogs paws and any messes they make instead of paper towels.

    Comment by Michelle — April 24, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  11. Ziplock bags- use reusable sandwich bags & lunch containers.

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  12. OK What can we do without? ANything that is “individually wrapped” That is a lot of plastic and cardboard that gets tossed. Maybe buying in bulk is better? Or buying soda or invidually canned items, invest in a filter and a sodastream or something of the like and eliminate that packaging altogether.

    Comment by soulfliesfree — April 24, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  13. Packaged Baby Food- Make your own!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  14. Produce Bags- Take reusable ones with you to the grocery store.

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  15. Disposable coffee cups- Bring a travel mug to the coffee shop instead!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  16. Disposable Menstrual Products- Use cloth pads or menstrual cups instead!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  17. Store Bought Playdough- Make your own!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  18. have clothes exchanges- kids feel like they are getting new clothes

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  19. Paper Plates- No brainer, use real ones!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  20. have toy exchanges too- saves bucks and feels again like new

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  21. Reusable coffee filters – buy a metal basket and skip the paper filters!

    Comment by HMNMama — April 24, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  22. Plastic cutlery- Use silverware!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  23. 18. Disposable plates & utensils!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  24. Disposable Tablecloths- Use CLOTH!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  25. use plates bbqing that are the unbreakable- use a tub to carry them in and wash- no paper plates

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  26. Antibacterial Hand Wipes- Use hand sanitizer, or just wash your hands!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

  27. Plastic Cups- Stick to reusables!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  28. at the beg of summer buy all a reuseable water bottle- use paints to decorate with their names or buy unique for each- use all summer

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  29. Two minds think a like Terri :) Plastic toys! Handmade dolls or wooden toys last so much longer!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  30. use lemon, salt to clean grill instead of harsh chemicals

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  31. Paper Billing- Use online bill pay.

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  32. @Urban Sherp– buy in bulk, less packaging = less waste. Also better for you from a health stand point to cook from scratch…

    Comment by Rebecca — April 24, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  33. Plastic Wrap- Use a container with a lid.

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  34. old tshirts that are holey and treasured can be made into fun quilts to treasure

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  35. use fruit cardboard containers for planting and – also for sorting crafts like crayons

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  36. instead of foil on grill use a cast iron pan for those loose items- use pot holder too

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  37. Disposable Razors- Use electric, or at the least one that only requires you to change the blades.

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  38. Non-rechargeable batteries- Use re-chargeable ones!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  39. Facial Tissues- Use a washcloth!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  40. @vasleepcoach – instead of Ziploc bags use reusable snack or sandwich bags. My kids love the great designs on them so much more than Ziploc bags anyway.

    Comment by Michelle — April 24, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  41. walk instead of get in the car- works off the thigh blubber- free health club and you will buy thoughtfully becuase you have to carry it home

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  42. Shop at 2nd hand shops & thrift stores instead of buying new clothing.

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  43. The Newspaper- Read the news online!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

  44. we take containers into store if we want somethings in bulk- do not use bags or their boxes

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

  45. Saw this on pinterest. Book swap party! Not only a great idea but a great social event…. Want to suggest it at my hmchapter

    Comment by @greenforu — April 24, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  46. Paper Tickets- Choose an e-ticket instead!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  47. Reprint on the back of all junk paper! I reuse what I receive in the mail and it supplies almost all the paper I use. Only print what is necessary!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  48. Instead of plastic bag get reusable fabric bags to put the kids sandwiches in

    Comment by @greenforu — April 24, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  49. Use egg cartons to start your seedlings, works great and they break down to compost! (Not Styrofoam but dont buy those to begin with)

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  50. compost- use your scraps to make your garden thrive

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  51. use rain barrels to save on water waste

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  52. how about getting rid of plastic forks and spoons and paper plates and just keeping some ceramic and stainless steel flatware as back up. There really is no need for plastic flatware. :(

    Comment by soulfliesfree — April 24, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  53. Bottles: Use BOOBS!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  54. line dry- saves on electricity and sun bleaches the whites

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  55. unplug- seriously how much crap do you need plugged in

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

  56. use solar outdoor lights- conserve

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  57. take those solar lights from outside and make indoor night lights

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  58. Do not use wrapping paper… Do a scavenger hunt, reuse bags you recieved gifts in, make bags from fabric scraps

    Comment by @greenforu — April 24, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  59. wash in cold

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  60. take old sheets and make into pillowcases as well as rags

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  61. donate magazines to local va- nursing home- or seriously do you really read them- cancel them read online

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  62. use natural sunlight- cherish what God has given you for warmth and light-

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  63. seal the doorways, lightswitches, cracks, wndowsills- how much is lost heating- cooling the inside

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

  64. reusable menstrual products for healthier period.

    Comment by Courtney Fisk — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  65. Swiffers- Use rags to clean the floor instead!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  66. use room darkening drapes- also keeps the sun out and house cooler

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  67. Dryer Sheets- Use Wool Dryer Balls!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  68. Laundry Detergent- Use Eco Nuts or Soap Nuts instead!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  69. upcycle old T-shirts into reusable grocery bags.

    Comment by Courtney Fisk — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  70. when its brown flush t down- oh yes flush it- when its yellow let it mello

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  71. use resueable rags instead of paper towels- and I amlearning there are new towels too

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  72. old socks and ts can be knotted and made into rugs to wipe feet off

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  73. Disposable Nursing Pads- Use reusable ones!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  74. use pillowcases for big kids gifts

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  75. use real ribbon for gifts and reuse for hair bows

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  76. Commercial Cleaning Products- Make your own!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  77. use your left over water from cooking to water your plants!

    Comment by Courtney Fisk — April 24, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  78. change out shower head and kitchen faucets to water savers

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  79. vinegar, lemon baking soda clean most everything

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  80. take shorter showers, in fact- we all take an excess of baths- and kill our skin

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  81. Disposable cleaning cloths-use microfiber clothes instead and wash them!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  82. use old silverware and use bentoboxes and make kids their own lunchables that are healthier and more fun

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  83. play outside more- enjoy the air- useless resources and create memories

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  84. Tissues-Use handkerchiefs instead!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  85. when buying items look at packing- can you buy an alternative that is rocessed and packed less

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  86. Disposable table clothes-use a real cloth table cloth and simple wash it.

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  87. Bank Statements- Go paperless!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  88. give things a life- an example- lemon peel for candy/cooking, juice for lemonade-water- scrub with the lemon and compost

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  89. end of school gifts give reuseable water bottles and coffee cups as gifts

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

  90. Use cfl bulbs that last up to 10 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  91. Shampoo- Go No Poo!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  92. buy a Christmas tree you can replant and have it thrive and grow

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  93. its almost summer- here is a fun craft- old wood turned into birdhouses- nothing off limits

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  94. New Crayons- Recycle your old ones to make new ones!

    Comment by Terri Babin — April 24, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  95. Juices boxes-use a refillable bottle!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  96. When painting use safe paint- like mystic- check out what yu use to make sure its safe

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  97. old soup cans make great desk organizers! Cover with fabris or paper and you have pretty storage!

    Comment by Courtney Fisk — April 24, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  98. Disposable ink pens-find a nice pen that just needs to be refilled!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  99. use peppermint to detract bugs in house and cinnamon too

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  100. Cover old boxes with contact paper for pretty storage and toy bins.

    Comment by Courtney Fisk — April 24, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  101. give reuseable bags as the wrappping fr gifts- pass the green on

    Comment by mom4everandever — April 24, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

  102. Furniture-rather than opt for new, give some new life to a well made quality piece with a new finish or new upholstery.

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  103. Tupperware-use canning jars to store leftovers and bulk items!

    Comment by Amanda Fiveash — April 24, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

  104. There are countless things we can do without, and there are great comments here. My pet peeve for waste are clothes dryers. Before the brilliant idea of these wasteful appliances, we had a place to dry wash – the clothes line.

    Comment by Valerie Rogers — May 10, 2012 @ 9:25 am

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"“I use my towel at work daily and really like it. I do occasional forget the towel and return to the office to retrieve, which has the added bonus of increasing my daily walking distance. Several co-workers are interested in the idea of reducing paper towel usage in the office, especially after realizing they use 10+ paper towels a day.""
---Dan, Northern CA

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