Recycling Services
Reduce Your Waste Impact

Buy Less

The easiest way to reduce waste is to buy less. When you do buy something, be smart about what you purchase and how you purchase it. You can also refuse items that you don’t need, like a bag at the store or giveaways at a conference.

Know Companies’ Values

Most companies share their values on their website or social media pages, so take a look at what they are doing beyond providing their product or service. Are they using recycled content in their products? Reducing or eliminating packaging? Providing good working conditions for their employees? Etc. You can show companies that you support their values by choosing them over companies that do not support those values.

Invest in Quality

Buying something that is built to last produces less waste and is often cheaper than re-buying something that is low quality.


Before throwing something out, think about ways you may be able to reuse the item. This will help eliminate waste and reduce the amount tossed into landfills. Examples of upcycled goods include t-shirt tote bags, plastic bottle bird feeders, and soda can plant pots.

Buy Used

Purchasing items second hand keeps those items out of landfill and avoids using energy and materials to manufacture something new.

Know Your Dine In Options

Many food and beverage locations offer durable, reusable options if you dine in – you just have to ask when ordering.

Or if you’re on the go, ask if your order can be put into your own reusable cup or water bottle.

Bring Your Own Reusable Items

A great way to avoid purchasing single use items is to have a kit of reusable items that you carry with you.

For example, refill your water bottle at a water fountain refill station, get your coffee in a reusable mug, forgo the disposable plastic utensils for your durable ones, use a reusable grocery bag, and put your leftovers in a reusable food container instead of getting a take-out container.

Join our Clemson Zero Waste Challenge (#clemsonZWC) on social media if you’d like to earn zero waste prizes!

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Water Bottle

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Shopping Bag

Opt for Reusable, Refillable, or Low Packaging Options

Choose a reusable option over a disposable one, such as reusable food bags and beeswax wrap instead of plastic bags and plastic wrap.

Shop in bulk to reduce packaging or use your own reusable container. Some companies offer refill options if you bring in an empty container.

Opt for items without packaging where possible. For example, buy loose produce instead of packaged (e.g. a bunch of kale instead of a bag of kale).

Buy Items that Contain Recycled Content

Items that contain recycled content require a lower amount of resources to produce than a product made from virgin materials. Buying products with recycled content creates demand for recyclables, which keeps the recycling market viable.

Online Shopping

If you can shop at a local retailer, it is often better to buy the product in person than to order online. This eliminates the need for the additional packaging associated with shipping the product. Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag!

Meal Planning and Prep

Planning out your meals for the week and/or preparing meals in advance can help reduce the amount of groceries that get thrown out, and make it easier to shop for what you’ll need.

Make a Grocery List

Buying foods that are already in the home can ultimately become another source of waste. Taking an inventory of the food in the house and making a grocery list before going to the store can help you avoid purchasing unnecessary foods and cut back on potential waste.

Reduce Food Waste

If you’re eating at a buffet style dining location on campus, take only what you know you can eat. You can always go back for more!

Save money and reduce waste by eating your leftovers.

Properly Store Food:


Donate household and clothing items to donation centers like Goodwill, or drop items off in the donation boxes on campus.

During move-out, there are collection bins and drop-offs for donations of non-perishable food items and household items.


Start Composting at Home {Link to How to At-Home Compost} or bring your compost to Kite Hill.


Please be sure to empty and rinse food and drink containers before recycling them, and only recycle items that are accepted by the university or municipality.