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
  • 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



Links on the Web