Waste minimisation at household level can be achieved by the adoption of a variety of strategies. But in a domestic situation, the potential for minimisation is often dictated by lifestyle.
Some people may view it as wasteful to purchase new products solely to follow fashion trends when the older products are still usable.
Adults working full-time have little free time, and so may have to purchase more convenient foods that require little preparation, or prefer disposable nappies if there is a baby in the family
Appropriate amounts and sizes can be chosen when purchasing goods; buying large containers of paint for a small decorating job or buying larger amounts of food than can be consumed create unnecessary waste. Also, if a pack or can is to be thrown away, any remaining contents must be removed before the container can be recycled
Home composting, the practice of turning kitchen and garden waste into compost can be considered waste minimisation. Individuals can reduce the amount of waste they create by buying fewer products and by buying products which last longer.
Mending broken or worn items of clothing or equipment also contributes to minimising household waste
The amount of waste an individual produces is a small portion of all waste produced by society, and personal waste reduction can only make a small impact on overall waste volumes. Yet, influence on policy can be exerted in other areas.
Increased consumer awareness of the impact and power of certain purchasing decisions allows industry and individuals to change the total resource consumption.
Consumers can influence manufacturers and distributors by avoiding buying products that do not have eco-labeling, which is currently not mandatory, or choosing products that minimise the use of packaging
Where reuse schemes are available, consumers can be proactive and use them.