Are you looking for ways to cut down on your waste, reduce your trash, and generally just throw away less stuff? It’s probably easier than you think! With just a few new habits, you can start wasting less and make more room in your trash – and your home. Here’s where to get started.
1. Know The Recycling Rules
Know what you can recycle and what you can’t! Recycling bins usually have various icons printed on them for what they can recycle and what they can’t. However, this can be confusing if you aren’t up to date on your recycling language. Fortunately, cities are usually very good at laying out lists of what types of items can go in what recycling bins. Print out this list and put it by the trash or refrigerator until you know by memory what types of materials can be recycled and how.
2. Don’t Use Plastic Bags
When in doubt, ditch the plastic bags! Plastic bag trash can quickly pile up, especially if you do a lot of grocery shopping. Plastic bags can only be reused once at the most before they get thrown away. An appealing alternative is a reusable shopping bag, which you can pick up nearly anywhere and use for months before it starts to wear out. Get several of these bags and keep them in your car or another place that’s easy to access.
3. Plan Your Meals
Americans waste an incredible amount of food every day, and a lot of it is because they don’t really plan meals or portions, and buy groceries on a whim. To greatly reduce waste in your home, start making meal plans that incorporate all the food in your refrigerator before it goes bad. A weekly meal plan that takes into account all the foods you have will make a big difference.
4. Incorporate Reusable Containers
Try to move foods to reusable, well-sealed plastic containers whenever possible. Avoid using plastic baggies for sandwiches or snacks – or, well, anything. Stick strictly to reusable containers instead.
Some leftover food is inevitable, both in preparation and after you are done eating. Don’t throw that stuff away, and certainly don’t put it down the drain: Instead, compost with it! As long as it isn’t protein-based, most leftovers can be used for composting, which creates rich fertilizer for your plants as well. Look into a composting bin and compost “recipes” to see how it works.
6. Cancel Unwanted Mail
You know those annoying flyers and mail you get that go straight into the trash? In most cases, you can call or email the sender and demand that you be taken off their list. Then – no more unwanted mail. Don’t let the easy solution pass you by!
7. Avoid Single-Use Anything
If a product is single-use, try to avoid it if necessary. Some of the worst offenders in homes are Keurig coffee pods and plastic water bottles. Such items are incredibly wasteful, and fill up your trash bins far too quickly.
8. Recycle in Clear Bags
If you must bag your recyclables (ex: Shredded paper) put it in a clear bag so the sorters can tell that the material is recyclable and not trash. Also, the bag can be sent to the correct sorting station before it is opened.
Still have questions? We can help with that. Call today to learn more about how to safely get rid of home debris and help the environment (and your budget) through smart recycling!