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Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Garbage Output

By Diane

compost binOnce a week, when I take my daughter to the bus stop, I walk past all of my neighbors’ driveways where they parked their trash bins and am horrified by the amount of garbage that some of them produce.

These are your average-sized families of four or five people and their HUGE trash bins are often overflowing with bags heading off to the landfill. The trash production in the US has almost tripled since 1960 and in 2010, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

These statistics are rather staggering and each person should do their part to reduce the amount of trash they produce! Here are a few simple ways that you can help:

1.  Stop buying individually packaged products. Whether you are buying bottled water or individual serving sizes of children's snacks, packaging adds up over time. Instead, buy a reusable stainless steel water bottle that you can refill in your sink and buy large bags of snacks that you can divide into smaller servings using reusable plastic bags. You will not only be reducing your trash output, you will save yourself a considerable amount of money as well!

2.  Buy or make a compost bin. All of your fruit and vegetable scraps, stale bread, egg shells, and coffee grounds can easily be turned into nice, rich soil by throwing them into a compost bin. If you are handy with a hammer you can build your own compost bin or head over to your local hardware or garden center and buy one, like the ones pictured above. Along with kitchen waste, you can also add in dry leaves and grass clippings. Use the compost that you create in your garden next year! We filled ours up so quickly we had to get a second one!  

3.  Recycle everything you can. You probably know you can recycle #1 and #2 plastics, tin and glass but many trash companies take a lot more than that! Check out Earth 911 to find out where to recycle cardboard, paint, electronics and many other items in your area.  

4.  Buy secondhand. You can shop at consignments sales, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. to find many high-quality items that come without a scrap of packaging waste. Along with reducing your carbon footprint you will be saving money as well!

5.  Stop your junk mail! It seems like every day I get several flyers, advertisements, and credit card offers. Stop this useless trash from even making its way into your home by adding your address to the National Do Not Mail list.  

The most important thing you can do to reduce your trash output is to be aware of what you are throwing away. Before you toss something into the trash can, ask yourself what ELSE you could be doing with it!

Do you have any other tips for reducing trash production?

3 Comments so far

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On Thursday, June 19, 2014, Utkarsh from India wrote

Thanks for the information provided it will help in my project.

On Friday, October 26, 2012, Candace from wrote

Great tips! Reducing garbage should be a goal for all of us!

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, Joyness Sparkles wrote

Instead of recycling, try to purchase items that are not canned in tin, purchase dried beans, etc. Or, purchase items in glass jars and then save the glass jars and donate them to schools for projects or put them up on Freecycle-you would be surprised at how many people would take them off your hands. The recycling process uses too much clean drinking water, an all too precious and disappearing resource.


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