Consuming less and reducing the amount of trash you produce is everyone’s responsibility. Lower your environmental impact and conserve resources when you learn to reduce household waste. Here are a few easy ways to cut down on the number of things you throw away.
Create a Compost Pile to Reduce Household Waste
About 25% of trash is compostable food and products. Don’t throw away vegetable peels and dinner leftovers. Learn to compost. You can purchase or build a compost bin to collect compostable waste. Make sure you rotate the compost pile often. Creating compost will enrich your garden soil while reducing household waste.
Bring Your Own Bags and Cups
When shopping, bring your own grocery bags to avoid using plastic on each trip. Cloth bags are reusable and stronger than plastic bags. Most families can save between 100 and 240 bags every year.
You can purchase and use small cotton bags for produce instead of using the grocery store’s clear plastic produce bags. This is another way to decrease the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfill.
Reduce your use of disposable products whenever possible. If going out for coffee, make it a habit to bring your own cup. Some coffee shops will even give you a discount or offer a larger portion for no additional charge if you bring your own cup.
Buy Recyclable and Recycle
Check to see if the products you’re purchasing are made from recyclable materials before you buy. Some plastics are easier to recycle in some parts of the country. Check with your city to see what types of items they can recycle. In many areas, recyclable materials are sorted into separate bins for a truck to collect each week.
Buy Whole Foods
Instead of buying pre-packaged food products, opt to buy whole foods instead. Instead of purchasing canned tomatoes, purchase tomatoes from the produce section. Purchase fresh mushrooms, corn, and beans. These foods are healthier for you and you won’t be throwing away as much trash.
More than a million tons of aluminum are thrown away every year. If your family drinks soda, purchase 2-liter containers instead of boxes of canned drinks. To further reduce your household waste, encourage family members to drink more water or make tea or lemonade at home.
Donate or Sell Unwanted Belongings
Instead of throwing out things that you no longer want or need, donate or sell them. Something that you don’t want may be useful to someone else and you can earn money at a garage sale or on eBay. There are online options and smartphone apps to help you sell books, clothing, and other household items. If you don’t have the time or desire to sell your unwanted items, donate them to a local charity instead. This will help keep usable items out of the landfill.
Buy in Bulk to Reduce Household Waste
Everyday items require less packaging if you buy in larger quantities. Instead of purchasing small containers of laundry detergent, opt for the largest size available. You often pay less per ounce when you buy in bulk.
Paper towels, dish soap, and toilet paper are all products you can usually purchase in larger quantities. Some grocery stores also offer bulk foods. Oatmeal, flour, nuts, dried fruits, and even peanut butter can be purchased in bulk, usually sold by the pound. You’ll save money and reduce the amount of plastic packaging your family throws away.
These are only a few of the many ways you can reduce your household waste and help the environment. Teach your children and other family members to pay attention to packaging and look for items that can be recycled in your community.