You might be able to think of other ways you can cut down in your life, making fundamental lifestyle changes that reduce your impact on the environment. This won't just keep things out of your trash. It'll also reduce for ecological footprint and lighten the burden on the Earth.

8. Get out of the disposable mindset

Get things made to last, or to be recycled. That goes for products varying from fashion (so-called "fast fashion" is a huge industry for people who want cheap clothes, but these products tend to be poorly made and don't weather time well) to electronic components. While the up-front cost is higher, the long-term costs are much lower, and your choice will definitely be better for the planet, too.

Think about the little things: buy a reusable mug to use for your morning coffee drink (most baristas are happy to take mugs from home!), acquire handkerchiefs instead of tissues, and pack silverware so you don't have to use disposables.

9. Get by with a little help from your friends

Ever need something for a project, but know you'll never need it again? Or find yourself wishing you had a somewhat expensive item that you can't really justify, but you could legitimately really use for a few days? Stop thinking that the only things you can use are the ones you own: expand into renting and borrowing.

Many communities have tool libraries, which offer free and low-cost loans of tools and other supplies. It's possible to rent products ranging from bicycles to tablesaws, along with smaller things you might need for projects. Your neighbors might also have something you could borrow, or they could be willing to pitch in on a purchase of a shared item; everyone on your road doesn't need a lawnmower, for example, if you can agree to split the maintenance and upkeep.

10. Maintain and repair

A lot of products fail because they weren't given the routine maintenance they needed. Give the things in your house a break by following product maintenance recommendations (like that 10,000 mile service for your car you've been putting off for 2,000 miles) and staying on top of painting, replacement of leaking faucets, and other chores. Preventative maintenance helps extend the life of your belongings and it also limits the risk of a costly repair...

...but if something does break, repair it! Resole your shoes, have a technician take a look at your computer, and reupholster that gross couch instead of kicking it to the curb. Repairing helps keep things in use and takes trash out of circulation, which is good for everyone.

11. Buy used, sell used, and donate used

If you can, consider buying something new. It won't directly control the contents of your trash can, but it will help keep things out of the waste stream. Likewise, you in turn can sell your own used goods to collect extra cash and keep them out of the trash. If you can't sell an item, consider donating it to a thrift store or similar organization. Your donations can make a big difference for someone else.