Southern Oregon Food Solutions

Reduce Packaging Waste

Reduce single use container waste from To Go food by using Rogue To Go

Rogue Disposal & Recycling and Dry Creek Landfill Information (541) 779-4161, Medford.
Transfer Station – Dry Creek 8001 Table Rock Road White City, OR 97503. (map)

If you are served by Southern Oregon Sanitation, type the name of a waste item and they’ll tell you how to recycle or dispose of it

Plastics: What’s Recyclable, What Becomes Trash — And Why – excellent information on recycling responsibly

This article addresses the confusion around re-usable containers in the time of COVID-19

Zero Waste

The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

– Zero Waste International Alliance

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.

Zero Waste refers to waste management and planning approaches which emphasize waste prevention as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste.

Zero Waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target. Zero Waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating wastes.


Awareness – Choosing sustainable values and knowing your impact.

Phase out – Start eliminating disposable items and saying no to excess waste.

Simple Swap – Tackle the big four: water jug, coffee cup, straw, and grocery bags.

Patience – Give yourself time to adjust. You will forget your coffee cup and leave your bags at home!

Better Solutions – Look for ways to improve on food storage. Try something new in bulk. Make your own lip balm or cleaner.

Education – Learn what is recyclable. Talk to friends, family, and colleagues. Take a class, watch YouTube, or read a blog.

Consumer Habits – Change your habits for the long term and keep thinking ahead.

Community – Learn what’s happening in your neighborhood, such as Talent Zero Waste movie nights, Jackson County Master Recyclers, SOMRA, Lend Me A Plate programs.

Community Action – Take a course, volunteer with a zero waste event, participate in a local or traveling clean-up.

Policy – Attend a City Council meeting, advocate at the state, or write policy such as Ashland and Talent’s Ban on Plastic Bags.

Eliminate The Big Four!



Foldable plate/bowl


Utensils with bag, chopsticks


Coffee and water cup

Cloth napkin

Beeswax wrap

SOMRA – Lend Me A Plate


Reusable bags – small and large

Tared glass containers – small for spices, large for bulk

Containers for soap or pet food

Pen or pencil

Bring twistie ties


Cooler, large basket or bag

Coffee and water cup, large water jug

Cloth napkin

Salt and pepper


Thinx underwear, Diva Cup, or Glad Rags


Make your own beauty or cleaning products such as lip balm, bath bombs, soap, toothpaste powder, lotions

Cloth hand towels

Safety razor

Bamboo toothbrush


Clothing swaps – “Naked Lady” events

Thrift stores

Buy Nothing online groups

Buy ethically

Make art, get creative and sew

Southern Oregon Food Solutions