Direct observations are used to analyze reuse and recycling patterns of 100 families in a middle-sized northwestern Mexico city and reveal that reuse is practiced more than recycling. An inventory administered to housewives examined potential predictors of the studied practices, investigating dispositional factors (motives, competencies, beliefs, knowledge), demographic variables (age, income, education), and situational variables (storage facilities, presence of collectors of recyclables, use of radio, TV, newspapers, and books). Each variable was presumed related to conservation behavior. Multiple regression and causal structural models were used to investigate the direct and indirect effects of these factors. Multiple regressions produced a limited number of significant (direct) predictors of reuse and recycling, whereas structural models revealed conservation competencies and motives to reuse/recycle to be the most important direct predictors. Moreover, these analyses showed that situational and demographic factors exerted significant indirect influence on conservation behavior through reuse/recycling motives and competencies.