Better Use/Less Waste
Resources to Make the Transition
More people than ever are rethinking the direction our consumer society has been taking us. In the metro area there are an increasing number of resources and community groups available to help us make this transition from oversized consumption and overflowing trash, to right-sized consumption and low waste.
Individual Action is an Easy Way to Start
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 some new systems in place that make it easy to do what you want and harder to do what you don’t want. For example, if you don’t want to waste food, you could pre-measure and prepackage correct portion sizes of favorite meals and freeze them. If you want to prioritize repair over replace, you can create your own directory of repair shops for the things you may need to get repaired. See how others have crafted low-waste success strategies:
- Zero Waste Home – the book, the blog, from the woman who started the movement, Bea Johnson
- How to start a zero-waste lifestyle
- How to embrace the zero-waste lifestyle realistically
- Find items you need in bulk (national)
- Zero waste grocery guide: Minnesota
- The non-disposable life
- 14 days to zero food waste
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.
Group Action Will Take Us Further
It takes group action to push forward with systems change. Who is working to get organics recycling in your area? Who is working with local schools to minimize or eliminate the use of styrofoam trays and plastic utensils? What needs to be done and where are your partners?
Faith communities have a moral basis to speak to the problem excessive consumption and excessive waste poses to the poor and to the health of our shared planet.
- Take a look at the Voluntary Simplicity workbook from the Northwest Earth Institute and consider hosting a discussion course.
- Engage your faith community and your neighbors in the Drawdown EcoChallenge
- Start a green team in your faith community to help your congregational events go waste-free
- Make community space available to encourage sharing of resources like plant swaps, sharing circles, and events like the Really Free Market. Things like these make life more affordable for those with low incomes.
Local businesses can influence government – and community members – to take action to reduce waste. See some examples of local business action on the website of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, located right here in Minnesota.
Municipalities can make it easier, or harder, for people to step outside the waste stream by working to make it easy and cost effective to reuse, recycle and compost. For example, Hennepin County hosts Fix-It Clinics each month in a different community within the county. That’
Who Can Help?
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 Sustainability||The Alliance for Sustainability brings municipalities and community volunteers together to create opportunities to scale up clean energy actions and community sustainability efforts. Contact: email@example.com, Phone: (612) 250-0389||Climate, County/City Plans, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Waste Reduction||climate county-city-plans energy energy-advocacy energy-policy renewable-energy transportation wastereduction|
|Do it Green! Minnesota||Do 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 Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|Hampden Park Co-op’s Voluntary Simplicity Group||HPC’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: firstname.lastname@example.org, …||Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|Conservation Minnesota: Minnesota Waters Project||Conservation 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 Protection||boost-natural-systems reduce rethink wastereduction water-protection|
|Metro Watershed Management Hub||This 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 Protection||boost-natural-systems reduce wastereduction water-protection|
|MN DNR: Water Conservation||MN 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 Protection||boost-natural-systems reduce wastereduction water-protection|
|ReUSE Minnesota||ReUSE 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 Reduction||reuse wastereduction|
|Twin Cities Free Market||Twin 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 Reduction||reuse wastereduction|
|UMN ReUse Program||The 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 Reduction||reuse wastereduction|
|Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore||The 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 Reduction||reuse wastereduction|
|Minnesota Materials Exchange||The 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 Reduction||reuse wastereduction|
|Eureka Recycling||Eureka 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 Reduction||recycle reduce wastereduction|
|Recycling Association of Minnesota||RAM 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 Reduction||recycle uncategorized wastereduction|
|MN Compost Facilities||This 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 Reduction||compost-vermiculture wastereduction|
|Hennepin County Master Recycler Program||Hennepin 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 Reduction||compost-vermiculture hennepin-county recycle reduce wastereduction|
|Dakota County Master Recycler Program||Dakota 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 Reduction||compost-vermiculture dakota-county recycle wastereduction|
|Ramsey County Fix-It Clinics||Ramsey 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 Reduction||ramsey-county repair wastereduction|
|Dakota County Fix-It Clinics||Dakota 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 Reduction||dakota-county repair wastereduction|
|Hennepin County Fix-It Clinics||Hennepin 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: email@example.com …||Hennepin County, Repair, Waste Reduction||hennepin-county repair wastereduction|
|Anoka County Fix-It Clinics||Anoka 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 Reduction||anoka-county repair wastereduction|
|Mobile Menders||Mobile 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 Reduction||metro-wide-resource repair wastereduction|
|Tech Dump||Tech 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 Reduction||recycle wastereduction|
|Free Geek||Free 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 Reduction||recycle reuse wastereduction|
|Minneapolis Toy Library||The 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, Sharing||economy-sharing hennepin-county rethink sharing wastereduction|
|Zero Waste Home||This 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 Reduction||books-videos wastereduction|
|Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook||This guide from Dana Gunders is a superb guide to reducing food waste and saving money and eating better while doing so.||Books/Videos, Waste Reduction||books-videos wastereduction|
|Metropolitan Council Local Planning Handbook||The 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 Protection||climate-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 Meetup||Big Picture, Economy & Sharing, Metro-Wide Resource, Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reduction||big-picture economy-sharing metro-wide-resource reduce rethink wastereduction|
|The Simplicity Collective||The Simplicity Collective is a grassroots ‘network of imaginations’ dedicated to exploring, promoting, and celebrating a materially simple but inwardly rich life.||Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|TedTalk: My No Spend Year||Personal 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 Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|Save the Food Toolbox||40% 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 Reduction||cooking-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 Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|Lulu’s Guide to Selling, Donating and Recycling Old Clothes||The 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 Reduction||recycle reduce reuse wastereduction|
|New Dress a Day Upcycling Project||One woman’s challenge to upcycle an inexpensive item of used clothing every day for a year.||Recycle, Repair, Reuse, Waste Reduction||recycle repair reuse wastereduction|
|Capsule Wardrobe: Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe||Tips on creating a minimalist wardrobe||Reduce, Rethink, Waste Reduction||reduce rethink wastereduction|
|Water Reuse Report||Advancing Safe and Sustainable Water Reuse in Minnesota: 2018 REPORT OF THE INTERAGENCY WORKGROUP ON WATER REUSE Minnesota Department of Health – Environmental Health Division||Reuse, Waste Reduction, Water||reuse wastereduction water|
|Water Conservation: DNR||Water conservation advice and tools from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources||Reduce, Reuse, Waste Reduction, Water||reduce reuse wastereduction water|
|Conservation Minnesota: Our Minnesota Waters Project||Our 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 Protection||county-city-plans metro-wide-resource reduce wastereduction water water-protection boost-natural-systems|
|Report: The Impact of the Reuse Economy in Minnesota||Reusing 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 Reduction||recycle repair reuse wastereduction|
|Kids Recycling Toolkits||The Bottle Store offers a variety of documents and toolkits to help kids understand recycling.||Recycle, Waste Reduction||recycle wastereduction|
|Washington County Fix-It Clinic||Bring 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 Reduction||repair wastereduction|
|White Bear Township FixIt Clinic||At 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 Reduction||repair wastereduction|
|Minnesota Composting Council||The 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 Reduction||compost-vermiculture wastereduction|