September Waste Reduction Tips

Back to School
Reds and golds and browns and oranges
Apples and pears — yum!

And … waste reduction!
Back-to-school time is here.  This year, consider these suggestions for reducing waste as you launch into the school year, courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Lunches and snacks

  • Instead of plastic or paper bags, use reusable cloth bags and plastic containers. Invest in a reusable plastic or metal container for carrying drinks, rather than purchasing single-use water bottles or juice boxes. This will save you money and reduce waste.
  • Find out if your school has a composting program for food waste, or help get one started.

Clothing, electronics and other supplies

  • Last year’s clothes, shoes and backpacks may no longer fit your growing kids. If you have clothing or sporting goods that are in good, usable condition, consider donating them to local thrift stores, charitable organizations or clothing drives. Donating keeps your old belongings out of the trash loop and helps those in need.
  • If you are replacing computers, printers, calculators or other electronics, consider donating or recycling them. Many organizations will accept donations of working electronics.  Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church is sponsoring an Electronics / Styrofoam Recycling Event on Saturday, September 29th, 10am-2pm.


Back-to-school season is a great time to talk to your kids and their teachers about the importance of waste reduction and recycling. When you’re going through last year’s supplies, talk to your child about how to reduce the amount of waste they create, reuse what they can and recycle the rest, and why this is important. Talk to your child’s teacher about teaching and using recycling principles in the classroom.

The DNR’s Environmental Education for Kids! (EEK!) has potential recycling activities.

Waste Reduction Tips

The absolutely best way to reduce trash is to stop buying and using products that are not durable, reusable, or repairable. Reducing waste is easy if you follow some of these tips.