Refuse-Reduce Guidelines


Rationale to stop using certain products.

  • Just because something can be recycled does not mean we should use it. Let’s keep things out of the waste stream AND the recycling stream.
  • Avoid altogether the toxic processes of creating plastic bags and Styrofoam and the costs in recycling it.
  • Cut back on everything. Reduce your material possessions—period!

Just say NO to Plastic Bags. Just say NO! Ban plastic bags from your home!

  • Take re-usable cloth bags for all shopping: grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores, restaurants, famers Markets.
  • Take mesh bags for perishables.

Just say NO to paper bags.

  • Take your own reusable cloth bags.

Just say NO to Styrofoam: Just say NO! Ban Styrofoam from your home!

  • Refuse Styrofoam and other food containers at restaurants.
  • Take your own glass containers or reusable plastic containers (large yogurt containers with lid) Containers for leftover food at restaurant meals.
Drinking cups and dishware Avoid bottled water. Use reusable safe container to be refilled from the faucet. Use your own coffee container. Avoid paper cups and lids. Take your own ceramic coffee cup. Or leave it at work or church. Use dishware and metal cutlery. Avoid plastic and paper plates. Use ceramic dishware and silverware even for picnics. Use glass containers for refrigerator storage. Purchase products with less packaging Buy in bulk. Eliminates individual packaging. Refill with your own containers at the store Cut paper use Purchase 100% “post-consumer waste” paper for office supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, napkins. Do not purchase Holiday gift wrapping: use newsprint or packaging paper or last year’s wrapping paper. Improvise for ribbons and name tags. Office paper. Print only when necessary. Use office paper on both sides. Make note pads. Use cloth napkins and table cloths. Use cloth handkerchiefs. Avoid paper towels. Eliminate junk mail in your home. Make it a systematic and ongoing campaign.

Purchase used products at local stores or online

Linens and towels
Furniture at Goodwill and Habitat Restore
Furniture resale shops (27th in Milwaukee)
High quality Furniture at Racine Merchandise Mart
Clothes at many resale shops and consignment stores
Used books
Electronics online
Get hand me downs for children’s clothing