We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

    46 Ways To Actually Waste Less Of Basically Everything

    Smart reusable swaps for single-use plastics, tips that'll cut down on your utility and clothing costs, and ways to make fresh food last longer so you don't have to throw as much away.

    Food and Food Packaging section header

    1. Bring a list with you to the grocery store so you only buy the food you know you're going to eat.

    notepad that says "all out of" at top and has long checklist with some pre-filled and some blank grocery items

    2. Reduce your packaging waste by shopping from the bulk bins as much as possible. Plus, it just might save you some money!

    3. And avoid bagging your broccoli in one of those flimsy one-time-use bags by packing your own reusable cotton produce bags.

    4. Store your berries, spinach, lettuce, bell peppers, and all kinds of fruit and veggies in produce savers that really will keep everything day-one fresh for nearly two full weeks. You'll actually have enough time to eat it all before it goes bad!

    5. Tired of buying a bunch of herbs only to have them go bad within a few days? Extend their freshness with an herb saver that will make it easy to reach in and grab what you need.

    6. Then if you *still* have too much of an herb, freeze it in olive oil so you can easily add a hint of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, dill, or oregano to almost any dish you cook.

    cubes of herbs frozen in oil

    7. While you're at it, freeze your bread, too, and pull it out by the slice as you need it. Just be sure it's protected from the frigid air: You can plop it in a plastic freezer bag (or two, for a double layer) or try a reusable plastic bread container.

    8. Repurpose leftover veggie scraps to make your own stock from scratch, or to infuse your store-bought stock with even more flavor.

    veggie stock in a cast-iron dutch oven

    9. Don't toss something just because it's past its "best by" or "sell by" date. Besides still likely being safe to eat, it could still be perfectly delicious!

    Use by: the date at which quality declines rapidly. Sell by: indicates when a product is 2/3 of the way through its shelf life. Best by: quality starts declining, but food is safe to eat

    10. And eggs can be perfectly fine to eat even weeks past their "best by" date. To easily test one, drop it in a glass of water and see if it floats.

    good egg sinks in a glass of water; bad egg floats

    11. Make microwave popcorn in a silicone popper to avoid wasting the box, each individual cellophane bag, and each paper bag that you leave behind after making popcorn more "traditionally."

    12. Regrow celery, bok choy, garlic, green onions, and more by simply soaking your food scraps in a cup of water.

    garlic sprouted in water, onion halves sprouted in soil

    13. Start saving your compost in a fridge-friendly, odor-blocking bin, and find a local spot to regularly drop it off.

    white lidded compost bin

    14. Or if you have the space and motivation for it, start composting in your own backyard, using a simple compost tumbler.

    black rotating tumbler balanced on silver legs
    Disposable Plastics header

    15. Pack a small (and clean) pencil bag with a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks to create a zero-waste silverware kit perfect for school, work, or travel. No pencil bag to spare? Pick up two kits that come with all the utensils you need plus handy neoprene bags for storage.

    the zip-top bags in pink and green each holding a stainless steel knife, fork, spoon, and pair of chopsticks

    16. Swap those single-use Keurig pods for a pack of four reusable K-cups that are easy to fill yourself.

    17. Or go the lazy-gourmet route, and enjoy every day pour-over or cold brew — both of these gadgets take basically zero effort and make almost no waste except (compostable!) coffee grounds, while still making delicious single-serve cups of coffee.

    18. Stick a collapsible container in your car or bag so you can bring your restaurant leftovers home without using yet another one of those styrofoam clamshells.

    the four nesting containers, popped up to full size

    19. Skip the plastic wrap or foil and swap in these reusable silicone lids, which suction on to pretty much any bowl before you stick it in the fridge. They also work to cover food in the microwave and as lids for pots and pans in a pinch!

    20. Get all of the functionality of disposable plastic bags with none of the waste: try a few reusable silicone bags instead.

    model's hand puts clear blue stasher bag full of broccoli into microwave

    21. Upgrade your evening routine with biodegrade-able bamboo or recyclable plastic toothbrushes, because every last bit of plastic waste counts.

    22. And green-ify your flossing routine with some silk floss. It removes just as much gunk as your typical plastic kind, but without the harmful effects on the planet.

    23. Ditch those disposable wipes for a pack of five makeup remover cloths that take every bit of product off with just water and a few swipes, and you'll still get to indulge your lazy side.

    24. Swap your liquid soaps — including bath products like shampoo and conditioner — out for bar soap versions of the same products. To make them last even longer, attach an infinitely reusable soap saver to the bottom of each bar.

    25. And opt for dissolvable cleaning products like Blueland's all-purpose cleaner and Ecos laundry detergent sheets instead of buying new plastic bottles of those products! They also use less packaging and less energy to ship.

    26. If you don't already have a collection of reusable bags, upcycle tees you don't wear enough into bags so you can skip the plastic (or paper) kind anytime you shop in a store.

    two-handled tote made from a tee, with text "how to make a t-shirt totebag in 10 minutes"
    Clothes & Textiles graphic header

    27. Start by actually taking care of the clothes you already have and love.

    bras using dividers in drawer; laundry symbol chart; shirt with dark liquid beading up on it

    28. If your clothes break in some small way, fix the problem instead of just resigning them to the donate bin. Button come off your jeans? Pick up a replacement kit that'll have your favorite pair functional again in like, five minutes or less.

    the buttons

    29. Instantly close up any small tears or holes with some fabric glue you can count on to hold better than those original threads or stitches ever did.

    30. And make sorry sweaters (and sofas and throw pillows) look perfectly brand new with the help of a fabric shaver — it will effortlessly pick off years of pills in one go.

    31. For new clothes on the cheap, host a clothing swap party to motivate all your friends / family / coworkers to clean out the great clothes and accessories they never wear anymore AND help them find something new (to them!) and stylish to wear for free.

    people sorting through clothing all laid out on a table

    32. Then donate the leftover items, and recycle the ones that are past their prime.

    box that says "donate" on the front

    33. And of course you can always try your hand at selling at secondhand stores, consignment stores, and places like Poshmark — just don't forget to shop there too, to find fashion gems at a discount! Your carbon footprint stays significantly smaller anytime you opt for something vintage or secondhand over something new.

    model taking photo of shoes to sell

    34. Check around locally to find out what to do with any (clean!) blankets and towels you don't want anymore. Some animal shelters may want them, or there may be a way to locally recycle them.

    35. And if you still have swimsuits, curtains, pillows, or other textiles you don't want to send to a landfill, you can pay to have them recycled through Terracycle.

    pile of textiles

    36. Give new life to your kiddo's favorite stuffed toys (or your bed or throw pillows that have seen better days) with the help of a bag of polyester stuffing.

    reviewer's stuffed toy elephant before, looking droopy and floppy, and after more stuffing, looking fluffier and fuller

    37. Slide in some cushion supports so you can turn back time on your slouchy sofa, and continue spending happy evenings there for years to come — no need to throw it out just yet.

    a reviewer's couch showing the difference between a seat without the cushion, sinking into the couch, and a seat with the cushion, sitting where it's supposed to
    Energy & Water Graphic Section Header

    38. Flip the switch on your ceiling fan so it's blowing the right direction, and your heat and AC systems won't work so much to keep you perfectly comfortable.

    close up of switch in middle of fan with text, up in the winter, down in the summer

    39. And if you have big windows that let in lots of heat or direct sun during the summer months, blackout curtains will block some of that light, letting the room stay cooler while giving your AC a break.

    40. Run the dishwasher ONLY when it's 100% full, so you use the least amount of water to clean as many dishes as possible.

    blogger's full dishwasher

    41. Cut your water use and costs — all while raising your water pressure — by installing a low-flow shower head.

    the showerhead

    42. And you can do the same thing with all your sink faucets, too. These aerators literally just twist on and off, making them super simple to install.

    43. Add a clean, dry bath towel when you put wet clothes in the dryer — then remove it after about 15 minutes — to make everything dry faster.

    had putting a towel into dryer

    44. Or swap out your dryer sheets for a set of six wool dryer balls. They'll help everything dry a little faster, cut down on wrinkles and static, and reduce your plastic use (because yes, most dryer sheets are made with some plastic).

    black and white wool dryer balls that look like little penguin faces

    45. Don't forget to get your dryer vent cleaned out once a year (or to clean it out yourself with a specialty brush), because pushing out that excess lint means your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will need less electricity to do its job. It also helps prevent dryer fires!

    46. And brush the layers of dust and dirt off of your refrigerator's coils so it uses less power to keep all your food nice and chilled.

    You, after doing even just one or two of these things on this list: