Waste reduction tips
Don't buy items with excess packaging. Write to manufacturers and let them know that you find their packaging wasteful. Include the packaging from the product.
Whenever possible, buy refillable or reusable containers. Avoid containers that can only be thrown away.
Bring your own bags when you shop and try to buy in bulk as often as possible.
Purchase durable goods of quality rather than disposable items. The cost may be higher initially, but in the long run you can save money. Get the longest warranty with the best repair service possible.
Be an informed buyer. Read consumer magazines and contact consumer organizations before making major purchases.
Don't throw anything away that can be reused or repaired. Your trash could be someone else's treasure. Fabric scraps, books, sporting goods, toys and clothing are always needed by non-profit groups.
Compost your food and yard waste. Up to ½ of your household waste is compostable. It's a simple way to reduce waste and produce a nutrient-rich conditioner for your lawn, garden and houseplants. The City of Toronto has compost bins available at subsidized prices.
Recycle when you can't reduce or reuse. Toronto's recycling program (PDF) accepts a wide range of materials.