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Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Home

Scott Monge

We celebrate Earth Day next week to foster appreciation of the earth and ways we can contribute to improving and sustaining the environment. One way to help the environment is to create less garbage. Landfills continue to grow and often have harmful effects to the ground, air and water supply surrounding them. The following tips can help reduce the amount of household garbage coming out of your home each week.

  • Food waste accounts for a large portion of what we throw away. To decrease the amount of food you discard each week, avoid buying in bulk if you find yourself struggling to consume your produce before it goes bad. Bulk pricing can often be tempting, but be sure you’ll use what you buy before making a purchase.
  • Vegetable and fruit peels and other non-meat waste can be used as compost in your garden. If you put your waste to work for you, your kitchen trash bin won’t fill up so quickly and will create fewer foul odors.
  • When preparing a meal, gauge how much you need to make. If you have leftovers, take them for lunch the next day. Don’t get stuck with a pan of extra helpings that won’t get eaten.
  • Household items such as batteries and light bulbs should be recycled. Invest in rechargeable batteries to save money over time and reduce the amount of trash gathering in your bin. If you switch to CFL or LED bulbs, you’ll go through fewer bulbs and use a lot less energy.
  • Nearly everything we purchase comes wrapped in a bag or packed into a box. But all of this leads to more packaging materials in your trash can. Buy loose produce instead of packaged goods that often cost more and create more garbage when you get home. Go for products that are packaged in recyclable containers like cardboard, glass and metal tins.
  • Cutting back on bottled water will save you a lot of money and plastic waste. Try water filtration systems to add to the tap or filtered pitchers at home. Buy stainless steel and reusable bottles for traveling to and from work or when going for a jog.
  • Repurpose old items that you want to throw away. Often old T-shirts and towels can be used as rags and old toothbrushes as grout cleaners. Before you chunk something in the garbage bin, think about how you can put the item to use in another way
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