Waste Wise How To

Resources to Rethink-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and Rot

More people than ever are rethinking the direction our consumer society has taken us. You’ll find many excellent resources in the Twin Cities to ease transition from oversized consumption and overflowing trash, to right-sized consumption on the way to zero waste. Take a look at the resources on this page and in our waste-wise database at the bottom of the page.

Individual Action is an Easy Way to Get Waste Wise

Know Where You Are Starting From: Check out this article outlining three ways to track household waste.

Structure Your Home and Life for Success: If you want to buck that system, you’ve got to put new systems in place. That will make it easier to do what you want and harder to do what you don’t. For example, if you want to end food waste, you could pre-measure and prepackage correct portion sizes of favorite meals and freeze them. If you want to prioritize repair over replace, create (and share) a directory of repair shops and handy people.

See how others have crafted waste-not, want-not success strategies:

Get Support for Making Change: Change is hard. Groups like Zero Waste St. Paul offer information and support, both online (Facebook) and in person.

Considering a minimalist lifestyle? Check out the Meetup group Minnesota Minimalists.

Who Can Help Us Go Waste Wise?

This list may not be complete. If there are organizations or companies you would like to see added, please email the webmaster to request consideration for inclusion. Resources found on this website are for informational purposes only and listing does not constitute endorsement. Transition Twin Cities does not receive any financial support from companies listed here.

Alliance For SustainabilityThe Alliance for Sustainability brings municipalities and community volunteers together to create opportunities to scale up clean energy actions and community sustainability efforts. Contact: sean@afors.org, Phone: (612) 250-0389Climate, County/City Plans, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Waste Reductionclimate county-city-plans energy energy-advocacy energy-policy renewable-energy transportation wastereduction
Do it Green! MinnesotaDo it Green! Minnesota educates Minnesotan’s about sustainable living and waste reduction through community-sourced articles posted on their website, demos, workshops, and community events. This is a great resource for …Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
Hampden Park Co-op’s Voluntary Simplicity GroupHPC’s Voluntary Simplicity group is a self-study course on voluntary simplicity. The Voluntary Simplicity course runs regularly, so check the Co-Op’s website for more info. Contact: Michael McKenna, Email: hampdenparkcourses@hotmail.com, …Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
Conservation Minnesota: Minnesota Waters ProjectConservation Minnesota’s Minnesota Waters Project works to build and maintain a network of lake associations, river groups, and conservationists to protect the state’s lakes, rivers, and streams. This project primarily …Boost Natural Systems, Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reduction, Water Protectionboost-natural-systems reduce rethink wastereduction water-protection
Metro Watershed Management HubThis resource from the MNPCA contains web links for each watershed management district within the Metro area. Watershed management districts are great resources for information and engagement opportunity regarding water …Boost Natural Systems, Reduce, Waste Reduction, Water Protectionboost-natural-systems reduce wastereduction water-protection
MN DNR: Water ConservationMN DNR’s water conservation program provides resources on lowering household water use as well as manages the Water Conservation Reporting System that compiles and releases comprehensive reports of water use …Boost Natural Systems, Reduce, Waste Reduction, Water Protectionboost-natural-systems reduce wastereduction water-protection
ReUSE MinnesotaReUSE Minnesota makes reuse happen by connecting people. They connect customers to reuse businesses and services, and connect these businesses and services with new customers and other similar businesses. Their …Reuse, Waste Reductionreuse wastereduction
Twin Cities Free MarketTwin Cities Free Market is a reuse program from Eureka! Recycling that aims to keep reusable items out of landfills or incinerators by hosting an online marketplace for these items …Reuse, Waste Reductionreuse wastereduction
UMN ReUse ProgramThe UMN ReUse program collects surplus office furniture, supplies, equipment, and parts from throughout the Twin Cities Campus and makes them available to university departments or individuals for purchase at …Reuse, Waste Reductionreuse wastereduction
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s ReStoreThe ReStore is a home improvement outlet that accepts donations of building supplies, furnishings, and furniture and sells them to the public at a fraction of the original cost. Contact: …Reuse, Waste Reductionreuse wastereduction
Minnesota Materials ExchangeThe materials exchange is an online bulletin board that links organizations that have reusable goods they no longer need to those that can use them. Contact: Phone: (612) 624-4697, Online …Reuse, Waste Reductionreuse wastereduction
Eureka RecyclingEureka Recycling is a nonprofit recycler that provides recycling services and Zero Waste education to the Metro area. They regularly host facility tours, zero waste events, and community outreach opportunities. …Recycle, Reduce, Waste Reductionrecycle reduce wastereduction
Recycling Association of MinnesotaRAM works to educate Minnesotan’s about recycling, its benefits and how to recycle, as well as works to create and partner with programs for the recycling of niche or hard …Recycle, Uncategorized, Waste Reductionrecycle uncategorized wastereduction
MN Compost FacilitiesThis resource on the MN PCA website lists compost drop off facilities across the state as well as provides valuable information on how to compost at home.  Compost/vermiculture, Waste Reductioncompost-vermiculture wastereduction
Hennepin County Master Recycler ProgramHennepin County offers a 6 week comprehensive master recycler/composter course. Participants are educated on waste prevention, recycling, and composting, and are expected to volunteer 30 hours educating their community on …Compost/vermiculture, Hennepin County, Recycle, Reduce, Waste Reductioncompost-vermiculture hennepin-county recycle reduce wastereduction
Dakota County Master Recycler ProgramDakota County offers a 6-week master recycler/composter program that educates participants on waste prevention, recycling, and composting. After completion of the course, participants are encouraged to volunteer at least 30 …Compost/vermiculture, Dakota County, Recycle, Waste Reductioncompost-vermiculture dakota-county recycle wastereduction
Ramsey County Fix-It ClinicsRamsey County regularly hosts fix-it clinics where residents are invited to bring in broken appliances, electronics, clothing, etc. to receive repair assistance and technical help from volunteers. Contact: Ramsey County …Ramsey County, Repair, Waste Reductionramsey-county repair wastereduction
Dakota County Fix-It ClinicsDakota County regularly hosts fix-it clinics where residents are invited to bring in broken appliances, electronics, clothing, etc. to receive repair assistance and technical help from volunteers. Contact: Dakota County …Dakota County, Repair, Waste Reductiondakota-county repair wastereduction
Hennepin County Fix-It ClinicsHennepin County regularly hosts fix-it clinics where residents are invited to bring in broken appliances, electronics, clothing, etc. to receive repair assistance and technical help from volunteers. Contact: Email: nancy.lo@hennepin.us …Hennepin County, Repair, Waste Reductionhennepin-county repair wastereduction
Anoka County Fix-It ClinicsAnoka County regularly hosts fix-it clinics where residents are invited to bring in broken appliances, electronics, clothing, etc. to receive repair assistance and technical help from volunteers.Anoka County, Repair, Waste Reductionanoka-county repair wastereduction
Mobile MendersMobile Members works to provide clothing care free of charge to those who need it.  They regularly host drop-in clinics across the Twin Cities and are also available by appointment. …Metro-Wide Resource, Repair, Waste Reductionmetro-wide-resource repair wastereduction
Tech DumpTech Dump is an electronics recycler working to keep electronics out of landfills while creating good jobs in the Twin Cities.  Tech Dump accepts donations of all types of electronics. …Recycle, Waste Reductionrecycle wastereduction
Free GeekFree Geek is an electronics recycler & reuser that accepts donations of broken electronics and repairs them for sale at discounted price.  Free Geek’s thrift store is a great resource …Recycle, Reuse, Waste Reductionrecycle reuse wastereduction
Minneapolis Toy LibraryThe Minneapolis Toy Library is a toy lending program for children aged birth to 5.  This program began in 2014 when two mothers came together over an idea for toy …Economy & Sharing, Hennepin County, Rethink, Sharingeconomy-sharing hennepin-county rethink sharing wastereduction
Zero Waste HomeThis is a great book for learning about zero waste, from the theory behind the movement to the actual practices for reducing ones waste.  Bea Johnson’s book is available for …Books/Videos, Waste Reductionbooks-videos wastereduction
Waste-Free Kitchen HandbookThis guide from Dana Gunders is a superb guide to reducing food waste and saving money and eating better while doing so.Books/Videos, Waste Reductionbooks-videos wastereduction
Metropolitan Council Local Planning HandbookThe Met Council has produced a Local Planning Handbook to help communities update their local comprehensive plans in the areas of land use, transportation, water resources, parks and trails, housing, …Climate Policy, County/City Plans, Energy Policy, Food Systems, Housing, Land Use, Metro-Wide Resource, Policy & Advocacy, Preparedness, Resilience, Transportation, Waste Reduction, Water Protectionclimate-policy county-city-plans energy-policy food-systems affordable-sustainable-housing land-use metro-wide-resource policy-advocacy preparedness resilience transportation wastereduction water-protection climate energy food boost-natural-systems
Minnesota Minimalist MeetupBig Picture, Economy & Sharing, Metro-Wide Resource, Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionbig-picture economy-sharing metro-wide-resource reduce rethink wastereduction
The Simplicity CollectiveThe Simplicity Collective is a grassroots ‘network of imaginations’ dedicated to exploring, promoting, and celebrating a materially simple but inwardly rich life.Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
TedTalk: My No Spend YearPersonal finance journalist Michelle McGagh gave herself the challenge of spending money only on essentials for a year. Her challenge became a book called “The No Spend Year.” In this …Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
Save the Food Toolbox40% of America’s food is wasted. This website is all about helping you save, with a dinner party food calculator, meal planning and shopping list so you buy just the …Cooking/Storing Resources, Education, Food, Reduce, Reuse, Waste Reductioncooking-storing-resources education food reduce reuse wastereduction
The True Cost of Fast Fashion (movie)This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make those clothes and the impact it’s having on our world.Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
Lulu’s Guide to Selling, Donating and Recycling Old ClothesThe average American throws out around 70 pounds of textiles every year. To reduce waste, consider how you can donate, sell or recycle your used clothes.Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Waste Reductionrecycle reduce reuse wastereduction
New Dress a Day Upcycling ProjectOne woman’s challenge to upcycle an inexpensive item of used clothing every day for a year.Recycle, Repair, Reuse, Waste Reductionrecycle repair reuse wastereduction
Capsule Wardrobe: Creating a Minimalist WardrobeTips on creating a minimalist wardrobeReduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction
Water Reuse ReportAdvancing Safe and Sustainable Water Reuse in Minnesota: 2018 REPORT OF THE INTERAGENCY WORKGROUP ON WATER REUSE Minnesota Department of Health – Environmental Health DivisionReuse, Waste Reduction, Waterreuse wastereduction water
Water Conservation: DNRWater conservation advice and tools from the Minnesota Department of Natural ResourcesReduce, Reuse, Waste Reduction, Waterreduce reuse wastereduction water
Conservation Minnesota: Our Minnesota Waters ProjectOur Minnesota Waters project aims to build and maintain a network of lake associations, river groups, and individual members focused on protecting our lakes, rivers, and streams. We engage members …County/City Plans, Metro-Wide Resource, Reduce, Waste Reduction, Water, Water Protectioncounty-city-plans metro-wide-resource reduce wastereduction water water-protection boost-natural-systems
Report: The Impact of the Reuse Economy in MinnesotaReusing materials and products, salvaging and refurbishing materials, extending a product’s life through repair, or renting products may reduce virgin-material demand and solid waste. This study examines the economics associated …Recycle, Repair, Reuse, Waste Reductionrecycle repair reuse wastereduction
Kids Recycling ToolkitsThe Bottle Store offers a variety of documents and toolkits to help kids understand recycling.Recycle, Waste Reductionrecycle wastereduction
Washington County Fix-It ClinicBring up to 3 broken items to a Washington County Library Fix-It Clinic and get them repaired for FREE. First Come, First Served. You must remain with your items while …Repair, Waste Reductionrepair wastereduction
White Bear Township FixIt ClinicAt Fix-It Clinics, residents bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more to receive free guided assistance from volunteers with repair skills to disassemble, troubleshoot and fix …Repair, Waste Reductionrepair wastereduction
Minnesota Composting CouncilThe Minnesota Composting Council is the MN State Chapter of the United States Composting Council. As a state affiliate of the USCC, the MNCC is dedicated to the development, expansion, …Compost/vermiculture, Waste Reductioncompost-vermiculture wastereduction
The Guide to Sustainable, Zero-Waste, Ethical WeddingsThis webpage covers a lot of territory for those planning a zero waste wedding. It’s from the UK so you’ll need to convert from pounds to dollars.Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reductionreduce rethink wastereduction

Less Waste Video Resources

Less Waste Podcast Resources

Zero Waste Countdown Podcast Image
Zero Waste Podcast

6 months ago

Tackling climate change, one home at a timeThursday, January 116:30–7:30 pmSaint Anthony Park Branch Library 2245 Como Avenue, Saint PaulIf you're a homeowner in the Saint Anthony Park area, this is for you. In this panel discussion, several expert neighbors will discuss how we can make our homes part of the climate solution — and how we can use new government incentives to do it.Whether you're planning a renovation or construction project, considering a switch from gas to electric appliances, or curious about home energy retrofits, join us. The session is part of the Second Thursday Forum series hosted by the Saint Anthony Park Branch Library Association and cosponsored this time by Transition Town - ASAP.The panelists will share climate-aware strategies for the types of homes in our area. Architect Terry Olsen is a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional and member of the AIA - Minnesota Chapter Committee on the Environment. After 28 years of practice designing spaces for the public good, such as transit, public works, government, education and other commercial projects, she now serves as Facilities Program Manager for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Personally and professionally she advocates energy efficiency, daylighting, transit, xeriscaping, solar panels, net-zero energy design, decarbonization and electrification.Marty Ruddy is a cofounder of Terra Firma Building and Remodeling, an employee-owned co-op construction firm based in St. Anthony Park. Marty is a long-time neighborhood resident.Tim Wulling will moderate the discussion. A retired electrical engineer, he is a long-time advocate for renewable energy. Tim leads the Home Electrification Group for Transition Town - ASAP, connecting people interested in the same types of projects. For more info visit the Home Energy page on the Transition Town website.On that web page, you'll find resources for electrifying your home. Converting from gas to all-electric means planning ahead for what to do as appliances age out. Tim's diagram, below, shows how such projects can work, step by step. The all-electric home on the right no longer needs a gas line at all. It takes patience and coordination, but it's worth it, for long-term savings and, of course, for the planet. When neighbors share the process and trade tips, everyone benefits.Read about one neighbor's electric home conversion in the January Park Bugle. In Free from fossil fuels: A family's journey, writer John Horchner tells how Mark Thieroff and Rhona Wilson equipped their home with solar panels and electric heat and water pumps, reducing household energy use by two-thirds. ... See MoreSee Less
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“BlackRock is the biggest institutional shareholder in Greenidge Generation Holdings, a company that uses a previously shuttered gas power plant almost exclusively to mine Bitcoin.”It’s time for banks, asset managers, and payment processors to start pushing #Bitcoin to clean up its pollution.This is a rare opportunity to eliminate a massive amount of fossil fuel use without needing to replace it with another energy source.Read the full article by The Verge here:bit.ly/44msmJI ... See MoreSee Less
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Adventures in sourdough: great rise and texture, still not as sour as I’d like. The experiments continue… 👨‍🍳👨‍🔬 ... See MoreSee Less
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