Home > Departments > Departments R - Z > Solid Waste Management > Reduce What You Use Waste reduction includes: Purchasing the most durable products you can afford; Seek products and packaging that are as free of toxins as possible; Buy products with minimal packaging and/or packaging that can be recycled in your community; Evaluate daily waste-producing activities to determine which ones are essential (such as buying medicines and food wrapped in packaging for our safety and health) and which are not (over packaged single serving items) Ten Easy Ways You Can Reduce Your Waste Buy concentrates, larger–sized containers or products in bulk. Use both sides of paper and make double-sided photocopies. Borrow or rent items that you use infrequently. Use a coffee mug instead of a disposable cup. Some coffee shops even provide discounts for customers who bring their own mugs. Carry a canvas or net tote bag when you shop. It's a safe, convenient way to carry purchases and eliminates the need for disposable paper or plastic bags. Use cloth napkins and kitchen towels instead of paper ones. Use e-mail to share documents and ideas. When using the Internet, bookmark Web pages instead of printing out the information. Reduce your junk mail by contacting the Direct Marketing Association . Use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) instead of regular incandescent ones. Modern CFLs typically have a life span of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours compared to 750 hours-1000 hours for incandescent ones. Use rechargeable batteries.