How to Significantly Reduce Your Trash
Is it freezing cold outside right now and the trash collection bin is far away? Or is it so hot you need to take another shower after making the sweaty trip to the trash can? Did your neighbor fill up the your communal garbage bin, leaving you no room to put your trash in it? Are you tired of nagging your spouse to take out the trash? All of these problems could be solved or lessened to a great deal if you reduced trash in the first place.
The continual production of waste in mountainous quantities across the globe is a cause for concern for everyone. While finding new and innovative ways of recycling materials is an ongoing task, there are many consumers who have yet to grasp the basics of reducing their overall trash output.
Here Are Some Tips to Reduce Your Trash
Recycle - Whether it's glass jars, plastic bottles or even just the peelings from vegetables, it's important to make sure as much waste as possible is put into the recycling stream rather than sent for land fill or incineration. It's thought that as much as two thirds of household waste could be recycled. Curbside collections are now common in most cities and everyone should be making sure that recycling starts within the home. Purchase small bins to keep materials separate. This will make it easier come collection day and it will remind you to recycle.
Start a Compost Pile - If you have a garden, why not invest in a compost bin? You can separate some of your kitchen food waste to be put in the compost bin instead of going to land fill. Compost bins can take many organic materials such as eggshells, vegetable waste or peelings and even shredded paper. The result is nutrient-rich compost you can use in your garden to help with next year's crop of home-grown fruit or vegetables.
Reusable Bags - Quicking gaining in popularity, one of the most obvious ways of cutting your waste is by getting a hold of reusable shopping bags and remembering to use them. This reduces your demand for polythene carrier bags which are incredibly difficult to dispose of, despite the use of billions of them every year in supermarkets. If you do find yourself having to use a bag from a store, ask if they have paper bags. These can at least be put into your waste paper recycling bin when you get home.
Don't use the Provided Plastic Bags for Fruits and Vegetables - I know I've done it in the past, but how many times have you used a whole plastic bad to seaprate your single potatoe from the rest of your groceries? Aren't you washing your fruit and vegtables anyway? Stop using these bags unless you're buying like loose salad leaves.
Shop at Second-Hand Stores - Make more use of charity shops and second hand stores. If you have clothing that's perfectly serviceable that you just don't want, why not give it to a charity shop to sell on to someone else.
Use Refillable Bottles - Another popular trend, refilling used containers when purchasing consumables. The cost of packaging, both in monetary and environmental terms is increasingly understood. From printer ink cartridges to detergents, soaps and coffee, more and more consumable items are being made available to buy as refill packs. Making use of these will cut down not only the waste packaging you buy but also the cost and impact of transporting the goods in the first place from the manufacturer.
Every little reduction in trash that you can make will have an upstream carbon reduction in the supply chain. Imagine the savings on transport cost and emissions if everyone used refill packaging instead of new jars, cartons or bottles all the time. Even Starbucks will let you use your own coffee cup to buy coffee in their stores.
You can do it!
You have the ability to control the waste being produced in your household. As a consumer, you also have the ability to make choices around what products or brands you buy that will affect the manufacturers' long term attitude towards packaging and waste produced downstream of their operations. Only through doing things differently, and making choices that are responsible, can we reduce the waste we produce for good.