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Tips to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


  • Carry your own shopping bag. Many stores offer rebates on your grocery bill when you use your own bag!

  • Reduce purchasing of unrecyclable plastic (typically #3 thru #7); buy products in glass or metal containers. Glass and metals are easily reused or recycled and are currently being collected by recyclers for local and mainland markets.  Also, please visit Sustainable Island Products to purchase biodegradable food containers that can easily be composted into your compost bins.

  • Buy in bulk. Instead of buying two small boxes of something, if you can buy it in bulk, then reuse a plastic bag and fill it up. This saves on packaging. Your purchase power will influence the market.

  • Reduce use of toxic materials by buying non-toxic alternatives for cleaning, pest control and painting.


  • Save corrugated cardboard boxes and foam peanuts for reuse when shipping items.

  • Wash and reuse plastic food containers for storing food items instead of buying throwaway plastic bags.  Maintain and repair durable products.

  • Reuse plastic and glass bottles. 

  • Buy reusable products. Reuse plastic and glass containers to store food, craft supplies and hardware.

  • Wash and reuse "disposable" cups, plastic utensils, etc.

  • Borrow, rent or share tools that you don't use very often.

  • Do you have clothing that doesn't fit, furniture you don't like, workable appliances you don't need? Support swap meets, thrift stores and garage sales.  Instead of discarding these items at the local transfer station, donate them to thrift stores, church bazaars, and non-profit groups for resale. Many people frequent such locations and events for bargains.

  • Try REUSE in action by trading items at FreeCycle Big Island


  • Buy recyclable products and containers.

  • Buy recycled office paper, toilet paper, and other paper materials.

  • Compost kitchen & yard waste. Many petroleum-based products such as disposable kitchenware, and even garbage bags are now available in compostable materials.  Please visit Sustainable Island Products to see what is currently available on the island. 

  • Use Recycle Hawai`i Backyard Composting brochure or attend a compost workshop.