|Reduce, Reuse, Recycle|
We do a lot of recycling and reducing. We also reuse and salvage a lot of stuff including through dumpster diving.
Reuse clothing. We have a huge communal clothing area, affectionately known as Commie Clothes. Clothes provided there are rarely bought new. Many of us use clothing mostly or entirely obtained from thrift stores and yard sales.
Recycling barn. We recycle paper and cardboard, some plastics, glass, and metals. The downstairs of our old gray dairy barn is used for recyclables (except there's another outbuilding for cardboard.) The local refuse drop accepts some of this material; some has to be dropped in a nearby city on one of our town trips.
Compost. We compost nearly all food and plant waste, some of our soyfoods processing remainders (okara in particular), and some animal manures. The finished compost is used in our food garden.
Dumpster dive. Some members find all kinds of great stuff in dumpsters, including good food, as well as copious junk food. For example, we often get dozens of loaves of Arnold bread in visits to a bread store. And there's the famous local bagel place that tosses hundreds of bagels made same day in one large nicely wrapped plastic bag. Some members call themselves "freegans." Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.
For years we took vans to Charlottesville at the end of the school year to hit dumpsters around the University of Virginia. It's almost unbelievable what the privileged-rich throw out—over the years we've come home with working computers, new shoes and other nice clothes, etc.