Waste disposal is a massive planetary issue with no clear solution. But each of us can decide to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem by reducing the amount of waste we generate at home. You can help decrease the size of landfills and increase the number of recycled materials by changing just a few habits.
Reduce Food Packaging
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According to an infographic from Trucks and Parts about American waste, almost 30 percent of American waste is from packaging. Replacing prepackaged foods with fresh alternatives is not only a good way to cut back on your trash, but it will also lead to healthier and tastier meals. Cook with fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones, eat rolled oats instead of breakfast cereals, and buy your vegetables in the produce aisle instead of the canned or frozen food sections.
Avoid single-serving packages wherever possible. Buy a large tub of yogurt and mix it with fresh fruit and honey instead of buying a dozen small containers of flavored yogurt. If you use a single-serving coffeepot, buy a reusable pod to fill with fresh-ground coffee each morning.
Ditch Plastic Bags
It’s impossible to overestimate the environmental problem posed by plastic bags. New Yorkers alone use 23 billion plastic bags each year. Many countries and cities are banning plastic bags altogether, and you can ban them from your home as well. Start by keeping reusable shopping bags in your car for major shopping trips, and decline the bag when you’re just buying an item or two at a convenience store. You can also buy mesh bags to package up your fresh produce at the grocery store.
Avoid Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles are another massive environmental issue. In the United States, there’s no reason to buy bottled water other than convenience. EPA standards for tap water and bottled water are identical, and in many cities tap water actually beat out bottled water in blind taste tests.
Buy a nice reusable water bottle and get in the habit of carrying it with you when you leave the house, and you’ll be saving a lot of money as well as helping the planet. When traveling, carry a filtration straw or a bottle with a built-in filter to eliminate the need to buy a bottle of water every time you get thirsty.
Compost Your Waste
Composting isn’t complicated and will provide you with rich material to improve your garden soil. Keep a small container in your kitchen to gather organic kitchen scraps like vegetable ends and peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells and banana peels. Layer these in a bin or barrel in your yard, along with grass clippings and leaves. Turn the mixture occasionally with a pitchfork or shovel, and by next year, you’ll have rich compost ready to nourish your garden or lawn. You’ll also have kept a lot of organic matter from needing to be trucked away to a landfill.
Reducing your personal waste is a simple way to help the environment. It’s also part of a healthy overall lifestyle that you’ll come to appreciate over time.
Article Submitted By Community Writer