If we are only paying attention to our trash getting loaded onto a garbage truck, we are failing to see the bigger picture. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference on the environment . Here are 7 ways that you can reduce trash in your home!
Start recycling plans for items in your house.
Believe it or not, there are a variety of common use household items that can be recycled, reused, or repurposed.
- Paper products -> gift wrap, packing material, arts & crafts
- Aluminum cans -> pencil holder, candle holder, wind chimes
- Glass bottles and jars -> vases, lanterns, leftovers
Contact your recycling center to inquire about products that cannot be picked up curbside.
Use permanent plates and cutlery.
Plastic plates and cutlery may seem like a good idea especially if you’re entertaining a large group of people, but did you know they usually aren’t recycled? Many recycling programs will not accept these items because it’s simply not cost-effective. Be conscious of your use of cutlery not only in your own homes, but where you shop. Businesses like First Village Coffee provide customers with metal instead of plastic straws!
Proper outdoor composting.
Many homes generate an insurmountable amount of food waste. An easy way to reduce this type of waste in your home is to compost it instead of throwing it in the trash. This natural process of recycling organic material into soil is a great way to not only get rid of trash, but improve plant growth. Here’s a great article to get you started.
Take your own reusable bags when you go shopping.
Keep reusable bags in your car so you have them handy when you run into a grocery or clothing store. Most recycling facilities are only equipped to recycle hard plastics, which doesn’t include plastic bags so bringing your own makes a big impact.
Use a reusable water bottle.
Most plastic water bottles are produced with a polymer called Polyethylene Terephthalate. Materials made from this polymer can only be recycled once. Plastic water bottles that are not recycled end up in our oceans, rivers, and streets which has lead to not only land and water pollution, but also poses a risk to marine life. By purchasing a reusable bottle, you are not only ridding your home of trash, but you are improving the environment. Here’s a link to a few popular ones.
Use glass storage containers or mason jars.
Instead of using plastic containers that often end up in the trash, invest in a long lasting storage wear. Not only are they great for saving leftovers in the fridge, but they are also microwave safe, and rid us of having to use aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Visit the farmers market to purchase produce.
When you buy produce from a local farmers market the food is fresh and not packaged because it is being grown and sold locally. Don’t forget some farmer markets are still handing out plastic bags so remember to bring your own reusable bags!