One of the biggest steps you cant take to avoid waste is to avoid packaging. According to 2012 EPA statistics, 30% of household waste is from containers and packaging. Buying in bulk and/or economy sizes, avoiding single serving sizes, and using refillable containers is a great start.
Bringing your own bags to stores is an easy way to avoid another significant source of plastic waste.
If you do end up with plastic bags or packaging, see PlasticFilmRecycling.org for instructions and drop-off sites to recycle it.
Buy only what you need
Another important step in saving waste (and saving your money) is to think critically about what you are buying and buy only what you need. According to an NRDC report, 40% of the food produced in the United States is wasted/spoiled.
Buying used from yard sales, Craigslist, thrift stores, Ebay, etc., not only allows you to avoid packaging almost entirely, but keeps an item that someone else is done with out of the waste cycle.
Sharing tools, appliances, and other household items is a great way to get to know your neighbors, save money, and prevent waste.
Find and list Items on NeighborGoods.net for convenient sharing.
Mending clothing, fixing furniture, and repairing appliances and electronics can go a long way in saving you money and keeping your things out of the landfill.
iFixit.com is a great resource for fixing anything electronic, from toasters to iphones. Simply click the search icon on the top to find a guide. They also sell the hard to find parts you might need to keep your device going.