20 Things I Don’t Buy Any More to Reduce Waste (+ Free Checklist)

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20 Things I Don't Buy Any More to Reduce Waste

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The best way to reduce waste in your home is to not buy them and invite them into your home in the first place. While it feels amazing to score a good deal online; most of the time, these items are not a necessity and you only bought it because it was on sale. I’m so guilty of doing this for clothes! Every time I clean out my closet, I end up with a big bag of practically new clothes that needs to be donated. This made me realize how important it is to be mindful when making new purchases. If you need some inspiration on items to give up on, here are 20 things I don’t buy any more to reduce waste and save money.

20 Things I Don’t Buy Any More to Reduce Waste


1. Candles

I love candles for the fall and winter season because they make the room so much cozier. But the jar packaging is very wasteful. Although you can remove the wax and repurpose the jar as a container, there comes a point when you simply don’t need any more jars. So until candle retailers like Bath and Body Works start a recycling program for their candle jars, I will not be buying any more candles from them.

2. Seasonal Decor

Seasonal decor is great because they can transform your space, but they can be kind of wasteful if you’re constantly replacing them every few months. I recommend investing in a set of seasonal decor that you like and simply rotate them throughout the year. This way you can switch up your environment without the need to purchase additional items.

3. Gimmicky Kitchen Appliances

There seems to be a gimmicky kitchen gadget for everything. I did not know what I was thinking when I bought that cake pop maker 3 years ago! It is now collecting dust somewhere in my kitchen. The main takeaway is if you do not plan on using it continuously, you don’t need it.

4. Dishes

When I talk about dishes I mean single-purpose dishware like a cheese board. Do you need to buy a cheese board for a wine and cheese night? Just make use of what you already have like a cutting board or a large plate. It might not be as Instagrammable, but your cheese will taste just as good.

Fashion & Beauty


Source: Pexels

5. Clothes & Fast Fashion

Clothes, especially fast fashion, are only popular at a point-in-time. The fluorescent PVC fanny packs trend will come and go like the wind so it’s best to invest in timeless pieces that you can wear for a long time.

6. Shoes

Only buy one pair of shoes for each occasion. Casual for everyday use, dress shoes for the office, boots for winter, running shoes for exercising, and a fancy pair for going out.

7. Accessories

Shopping for accessories can be addicting because they don’t take up a lot of your space so you won’t even notice until your collection becomes massive. Choose pieces that can stand on their own but also pair well with others so you can create multiple looks without expanding your collection.

8. Fragrance

Perfume and cologne last a LONG time, so you only need two in your arsenal. For example, a fresher scent for spring & summer and a warmer scent for fall & winter.

9. Face Masks

Face masks, especially single-use sheet masks, are incredibly wasteful. More often than not, they don’t deliver any noticeable benefits other than hydration. So unless you love them, you should try to eliminate them out of your skincare routine.

10. New Skin Care Products

While it’s fun to test out new skincare products, there’s absolutely no reason to keep introducing new products into your skincare routine if it’s working. Stick to your current routine and use what works for your face.

Also Read: 9 Best Pumpkin Skincare Products For Fall

Food & Drink


Source: Pexels

11. Bottled Water

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m not going to pay $5 for some viscous mineral-laden water when I have my water bottle. I recommend investing in a Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle so you can drink filtered water on-the-go.

12. Plastic Food Containers

Plastic food containers are truly the worst. You can’t microwave them and they soak up the smell and color of food. Invest in a set of glass food containers that will last to reduce waste.

13. Mugs & Tumblers

Do you have a mug addiction? I’m a bit of a mug collector myself, but I’ve noticed I only have one go-to mug I use daily. So I gave away my unused mugs and only keep my favorite one in my kitchen.

14. Tea Filters

I love tea, especially loose-leaf ones. I used to buy tea filter bags but I have since invested in a metal tea filter basket. It does the job of brewing loose leaf tea in my mug without creating additional waste.



Source: Pexels

15. Unnecessary Items on Sale

We all love a good sale! But more often than not, you’ll end up with a few items that weren’t even on your wish list just because of their low price. This is a really bad habit and it’s how we end up with clutter everywhere.

16. Unwanted Gifts

This may be controversial, but I stopped buying surprise gifts for my friends and family. Why? Most of the time surprise gifts just end up in the trash or re-gifted to someone else. I’d much prefer to get someone a gift they truly want and will enjoy. So next time you buy a gift for someone, just ask what they want in advance to reduce waste.

17. Books

I’ve stopped buying physical books in favor of ebooks. Unless you’re someone who likes to reread your books, physical books tend to collect dust in your bookshelf. Ebooks provide you with the same content a book does, but they are cheaper, more accessible, and do not take up physical space.

Related Article: Top 7 Best Self-Help Books for Millennials

18. Stationary

Be honest, do you ever fully use up all your stationery that you buy? I don’t! There’s always that one pen or notebook that I gravitate towards so it simply doesn’t make sense to stockpile on stationary. Invest in stationery that you truly love to reduce waste.

19. Phone Cases

We all know that one friend that changes their phone cases like jewelry. Similar to seasonal decor, I recommend having a set of your favorites and simply rotating them throughout the year as needed.

20. Souvenirs

One thing you’ll never catch me buying when I go on a vacation is a souvenir. 99% of souvenirs are useless decorations that are only cute for a point-in-time. A seashell lamp clashes with literally every single piece of furniture in my room, yet I still bought it on a trip to Cancun. Instead of buying souvenirs as a memento of your vacation, simply live in the moment and capture moments that matter by taking pictures.

Free Resource: Decluttering Checklist


How Will This Help You?

  1. Stay Organized– An effective checklist system to help you declutter your home.
  2. Keep Things That Spark Joy – Helps you keep items that truly bring joy to your everyday life.
  3. Prioritize Needs Over Wants – Allow you to focus on keeping the items you truly need.

Download for free in our resource library.

Read Next: 5 Simple Tips To Live Sustainably on a Budget