Santa Clara University


Reduce waste

Ways to take action: Reduce Waste

With only one planet in a closed-loop system (where physical matter can change form, but never exit our world nor disappear completely) and with a finite amount of natural resources and space for landfill waste, we must all reduce our consumption whenever possible.

Ideas for reducing waste:

  • Avoiding one-time use containers like bottled water, take-out containers, and plastic bags
    • Fill up your reusable container at our water bottle filling stations 
    • Join the campus Eco-Tray program
    • Opt for a fabric or canvas tote bag when shopping
  • Choosing products with less packaging
  • Eating only what you can finish or saving leftovers 
    • Try bringing Tupperware-like containers when dining out
  • Reusing or re-purposing what we already have 
    • Check out Pinterest or our boards for inspiration
    • Design an outfit for the annual Eco-Fashion & Art Show with worn-out clothes and  recyclable or waste items
  • Saving money for memories rather than products 
  • Giving the gift of an experience or do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts
  •  Not purchasing unnecessarily or as frequently
    • Clothes: Embrace vintage and hand-me-downs; host a clothing swap party with friends. After the event, donate the rest. And if a new outfit is absolutely needed, go thrift store shopping, which has already-existing, new-to-you clothes. Buying new ones create more demand for companies to supply more. 
    • Electronics: Staying loyal to your current computer, tablet, or phone and not buying the latest every time. Corporations partake in what is known as “planned obsolescense.” This is the intentional production of consumer goods that are designed with nondurable products with hard-to-repair or limited quantity of spare parts. The goal of many corporations is to make as much profit as possible, so they frequently sell a “good product” and promote it as the “better product” in order to phase out the earlier model. Often times, this becomes unnecessary as the first version sufficiently gets the job done.
  • Joining Stop Junk Mail San Jose to keep your mailbox from flooding with unwanted mail and to reduce your household waste


See our Sustainability Update for a monthly “Take Action,” where we offer tips to reduce, reuse, recycle, and respect regarding a myriad of topics. To sign up for this e-newsletter, please email

For questions about waste diversion, visit our FAQ page.

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Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053