Small Steps, Big Savings: What You’re Wasting Most

Living more conservatively and adopting sustainable habits doesn’t have to be hard. In a post at, “Top Things You’re Wasting — and How to Stop,” editors compiled dozens of simple ideas for saving energy, water, trees, and more. So what are Americans excessively wasting? Here are a few of the things we waste the most and how we can stop:

Water: The price and usage of water varies considerably depending on where you live, though a survey by Circle of Blue, an international network devoted to the global freshwater crisis, claims all Americans should expect rising costs as sustainability continues to be a concern. In “The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 U.S. Cities,” Circle of Blue suggests that people became accustomed to lower water prices and so fail to see there’s a connection between cost and sustainability. Preserving resources comes at a price.

Best ways to waste less?

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
  • Only run the dishwasher when it’s full
  • Do full loads of laundry, not a little here and there

Paper towels: Not only are disposable towels and napkins costly, but they contribute to landfill waste, polluting water and soil. Think about how often you reach for paper towels, then add in napkins and you’ll see how quickly a roll can disappear.

Best ways to waste less?
– Use cloth towels and reuse them until you absolutely have to launder them. Switching to cloth for cleaning up spills can save you up to $1,000 per year, according to

Plastic bags:
The EPA estimates that just 9 percent of plastic bags are recycled, and each year the U.S. produces enough to cover the state of Texas, according to, adding that most plastic bags are not biodegradable.

Best ways to waste less?

  • Purchase a reusable tote for grocery trips
  • Don’t double-bag in plastic if you find yourself tote-less and the only option’s plastic
  • Invest in a lunch bag (here are 6 lunch bags we love)

Disposable razors: Anyone shopping for razors at the drugstore knows how expensive these things are, and yet EPA estimates claim 2 billion blades end up in landfills annually. While no one’s suggesting you stop shaving, it’s clear more can be done to curb consumption.

Best ways to waste less?

  • Splurge on an electric razor. It will pay for itself in the long run
  • Preserve disposable blades by drying them out after each use

See the full list for six more most-wasted items at


Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

3 thoughts on “Small Steps, Big Savings: What You’re Wasting Most

  1. I have renewed  our subscription already and have received many invoices for renewal since then. I wonder if anybody even looks at or cares who has renewed or if they just keep sending invoices hoping you just keep paying over and over again!                                                                                                                                                                            Jim T


  3. I recieved a flyer in the mail offering a subscription of $8.00 for one year or $13.00 for two years. I would accept your offer if I could get the digests in large print! I am 76 years old, and cannot see the small print even with glasses. Roselyn Mollitor, at 25321 west M-43 Mattawan, Mi. 49071

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy