13 Easy ways to reduce resource waste


Shayda Dehnow


Living in California, we are acutely aware of the serious state of our drought and possible conservation methods to help remedy the situation. However, we sometimes neglect to employ these methods because they require too much effort. Thus, this list has been compiled to not only aid us in reducing water consumption, but resource waste in general.



Here are 13 Easy Ways to Reduce Resource Waste:

  1. Don’t water your grass…or mow it! Lawns take up an excessive amount of water, and mowing takes up energy. The environmental benefit of grass is less than that of other plants, so forego watering your lawn during this California drought.

  2. Bike instead of driving: Perhaps the most well-known way of reducing your carbon footprint, biking is a cost-effective, green option for transportation. However, using public transportation is also much better than driving your own individual car. Or, invest in an electric car!

  3. Switch off power strips: Even when you unplug your devices from them, chargers and the like still waste electricity. So instead of unplugging each individual plug from your power strip, use the kind that includes a switch. When switched off, empty chargers don’t waste electricity.

  4. Unplug unused devices: Unplugging devices, such as radios or speakers, from wall outlets when they are not in use or charging reduces electricity waste.

  5. Turn off the lights…and instead, use natural light: turning off lights when leaving the house or going downstairs obviously reduces electricity waste. However, to further reduce resource waste, we can use lights as seldom as possible by frequently utilizing natural light during the day.

  6. Recycle: Recycling reduces the amount of material that is tossed into landfills and wasted. Thus, it also helps lessen combustion and landfill and the resulting air and water pollution.

  7. Reusable water bottles: investing in a safe, metal or plastic refillable water bottle reduces plastic water bottle waste immensely.

  8. Flush less: Ever heard the saying, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down?” Especially during a drought such as the one we are suffering in California, flushing urine down the toilet less often helps reduce gallons of water waste. Though it seems gross, at least avoiding flushing when you don’t have guests over can make a difference.

  9. Collect extra water…and reuse it: Putting buckets in sinks and the shower allows excess greywater to be collected and then reused later to irrigate.

  10. Tighten faucets to prevent drips: just making sure you completely shut off the sink, shower/bath, hose, etc. can prevent a lot of water loss.

  11. Get secondhand clothes: Not only is it more affordable, but secondhand clothing reduces manufacturing demands, as well as landfill waste. You can avoid more resource waste by purchasing or donating clothes at thrift stores, consignment stores, flea markets, and/or garage/yard/estate sales. You can also have a “clothing swap” with friends.

  12. Eat less meat: reducing the demand for meat greatly reduces resource waste. As a result of raising livestock, trees are clear-cut for grazing land, untreated animal waste can matriculate into runoff, and thousands of gallons of water are needed to grow the crops that livestock consume. Processing meat, on the other hand, uses a great amount of fossil fuel.

13. Compost: Composting helps recycle organic matter so that it can regenerate soil, decrease the demand for water, fertilizers, and pesticide, and reduce landfill pollution.