The stuff we surround ourselves with at home is worth paying attention to. It changes how we feel and how we interact.

From big to small changes, there are many ways you can reduce waste at home. Over time, you may find that you save money too! Here are our top tips for reducing waste at home.


  • Opt out of junk mail via USPS
  • Reduce food waste! Did you know that 25% of each household’s food ends up going to waste? Find out what is going to waste in your house and learn how to prevent it. Sign up for our free, self-guided 4-week Rethink Food Waste Challenge.

Shop sustainably

  • When shopping for yourself, decide: do you really need it?
  • When shopping for others, think: can you give the gift of experience — something your loved one will remember?
  • Any time you’re shopping: can you buy a pre-owned version rather than a new one?
  • When possible: can you buy products that are refillable and reusable rather than disposable?

Borrow or rent stuff

Some places you can borrow and rent stuff:

  • Deschutes County Libraries have books, movies, and music. AND they now have a Library of Things including things like a sewing machine, a GoPro, and a ukulele kit!
  • The Gear Fix - rent or buy used gear
  • The DIY Cave - tools 
  • The Environmental Center - dishware / utensil kits

Start a shared spreadsheet with your friends to pass around tools and appliance, especially those you don’t use often (like a food dehydrator, a cider press, your ice cream maker, or your drill).

Reuse and repair

Dare to repair! Learn more about repair on this page.

Common household single use swaps:

  • Water bottles
  • To-go mugs/thermos
  • Grocery bags
  • Produce bags
  • Dishware and utensils for parties
  • Napkins 
  • Makeup wipes

Recycle right

Compost your food waste

Did you know you can compost in your yard waste bin in Bend, Redmond, and Sisters? Learn more about compost here!