Why aim to reduce your waste? The EPA estimates that we use over 4 million tons of plastic bags/wraps each year. According to a recent UN news story, “more than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year worldwide, half of which is designed to be used only once.”
Work towards zero waste by taking the following actions:
Reduce or eliminate your use of single-use items
- Bring your own reusable bags when shopping, or carry out items by hand. This avoids both plastic and paper bags.
- Stop buying bottled water
- Take reusable items to events (or work)
- Regular cups, plates, and utensils instead of disposables
- Bring your own container for leftovers at a restaurant
- Limit disposable items at home
- Cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
- Rags in place of paper towels
- Reusable sandwich bags
- Consider packaging when making purchase decisions
- Buy food in bulk when available
- Avoid single serving packaging (tell the take-out place not to include it)
Reduce Paper Use
Participate in the Sharing Economy: Get to know where to donate and where to buy used
- Stores where you can buy or sell/donate usable items
- Needham Community Council has a thrift shop with adult/teen clothing, jewelry, shoes, and various household items. See their Detailed donation guidelines
- Savers 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury accepts and sells good quality clothing, small appliances, sports equipment, children’s toys, games, hardback and paperback books, CDs, Videos, DVDs, vinyl records, computer software, and much more. Click here for guidelines. They are a for-profit store but also a Community Donation Center benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation.
- Play It Again Sports, 606 Washington St. Dedham, buys and sells quality used and new sports and fitness gear.
- Second Hand Clothing Stores: Needham has several second hand clothing shops. Check out 2nd Hand Rose and Closet Exchange.
- Where to donate items in any shape
- Where to borrow or give/get things for free
- Needham Library’s Library of Things has many items to borrow, from tools to a sewing machine.
- RTS Reuse-It swap shop reduces the amount of reusable materials entering the waste stream by providing Needham residents with a place to conveniently give away usable items they no longer want or need and find things they can use. The Swap Shop is open from April 1st through Nov. 30th, with some exceptions such as Paint Saturdays and times of extreme weather. Items are free.
- Needham Freecycle Through this website you can offer goods for free, or request goods for free.
- Buy Nothing Needham Facebook Group. Give, receive, lend, share, and show gratitude in hyper-local gift economies.
- Rotary Repair Cafe: The Rotary Club of Wellesley occasionally hosts a Repair Cafe. A wide variety of items can be brought in for repair: clothing, small appliances, small furniture, bicycles and electronics
- Local Repair Shops:
- Shoe Repair: Needham Shoe – Repair 91 Chapel St. Needham
- Tailor: Hois Tailor Shop – 399 Chestnut St. Needham
- 11/2/22 Recycling & Solid Waste Forum – Needham DPW RSW Presentation
- 11/2/22 Recycling & Solid Waste Forum – Casella Presentation
- NRC Press Release: China and Recyclables 051518