Green Lifestyle

Published on November 19th, 2020 | by Scott Cooney


5 innovative and simple waste reduction strategies

Waste is dumb. So let’s get rid of it shall we? With the boom in simplification and decluttering we’re seeing across the country from the “Does it spark joy?” movement, what are some ways that we can use less and still achieve more? Here, I’ve assembled some innovative and simple strategies to declutter your life and maintain your quality of living.

Plastic bags

They suck, but let’s face it, they’re useful. As long as the zip seal is good, and it should be able to be used many times, these can be washed and dried and reused. I have several ziplocs that I’ve used more than 10x each.


Vegetable stems and such

This one is easy – Take the stems, twigs, leaves…anything that’s not the ‘eating part’ of a plant. Then boil them, and make some veggie broth. Sure you can add bouillon or miso to it later, but there’s still a lot of nutrients in those plant parts that you can extract with boiling to make a soup stock.


Think rechargeable! Here, you can see some common electronics that have their own rechargeable battery. This is simple. The more challenging thing is the ones that have disposable batteries.
For these, I keep the plastic containers the rechargeable batteries came in, and mark the top and bottom with whether they’re charged up or not.

Twist ties and rubber bands

So many things come with twist ties or rubber bands or both, that we often just chuck them. But then…you need one, and it’s frustrating, because your choice is to reach into the trash, or buy a bag of rubber bands! Silly. So keep a little bin in your kitchen drawer for these. With twist ties, you can actually cut them. Lettuce and other veggies often come with huge twist ties – I cut these into segments that are usable for cords, cables, wires, etc.

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About the Author

Scott Cooney is a serial eco-entrepreneur including being the solo founder of Pono Home,, and CleanTechnica; author of two books; former sustainability consultant with clients including Johnson & Johnson, Eastman Chemical, Wal-Mart, and Duke Energy; former Adjunct teaching the first course in sustainable business in the MBA program at UH Manoa; lover of local, healthy food and especially vegan nachos. Find Scott on Twitter

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