Most of us have heard the three R’s of waste reduction—”reduce, reuse, recycle.” Despite best intentions, though, it can be challenging to actually put these words into practice on a daily basis. If you want to reduce your household waste, here are five straightforward strategies to try out.
“Think Green” Outdoors
Taking care of your outdoor space is a great opportunity to put your waste reduction mindset to work. As you do yard work or gardening tasks, look for opportunities to let nature take care of any waste products you have rather than putting them into a landfill. You can:
- Create a compost pile for organic kitchen and yard waste
- Leave grass clippings on your lawn to break down and provide nutrients to your soil
- Use a mulching mower to chop up leaves so they can nourish your lawn
Instead of putting organic waste into the trash, you can actually feed your lawn and garden by letting it break down naturally. This decomposition process can take some time, but it’s a great way to reduce waste and care for your property at no extra cost.
Opting for paperless billing is a simple way to reduce the amount of paper waste in your home. Most banks, credit cards, and utility companies offer paperless billing so that you get all your statements and bills electronically rather than through the mail. If you’re still getting paper correspondence for accounts that you hold, contact the company to see if they offer a paperless option so that you can get—and pay—your bills online.
Avoid Single-Use Products
Many things in our modern lives are designed for convenience, but that convenience has hidden costs. Single-use items such as plastic bags, plastic food packaging, and plastic wrap are quickly used, then discarded to become landfill waste.
While you might not be able to circumvent single-use products altogether, a few small changes can shift your reliance on these products and reduce your household waste. Try these tips to limit how many single-use products end up in your trash:
- Take reusable bags to the grocery store
- Buy in bulk and avoid individually packaged food items
- Package leftovers in reusable containers instead of using plastic wrap
With a little effort and attention, you can drastically reduce how many single-use items come into your home—and end up in your trashcan. A few small changes can make a big difference!
Donate Gently Used Items
When you’re ready to get rid of household items like kitchenware, electronics, furniture, or clothing, look into options for donating them before you automatically throw them away. There are likely a number of secondhand stores, nonprofits, and religious organizations in your community that accept gently used items. A quick internet search can help you find various donation options so that things you no longer need can have a second life.
Organize Your Fridge and Pantry
Unused food is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to household waste. Many of us have a fair amount of storage in our kitchens. Between the fridge, freezer, and pantry, we can keep a lot of food on hand!
While this storage is great, it also makes it easy to “lose” things. If you’re not attentive to your food storage, you can easily end up with expired canned goods in the depths of a cupboard or funny-smelling leftovers at the back of the fridge. Instead of using these items, you end up having to throw them away. This means you waste money and food and generate extra trash without actually benefitting from what you toss.
To avoid this cycle of waste, you can:
- Regularly clean out your food storage areas
- Put new purchases at the back (and pull old items forward) when you put groceries away
- Inventory your current food stock before you shop to avoid duplicate items
With these basic steps, you can maximize the food you have, reduce what you need to buy, and minimize the amount of waste you produce. It’s a win for both your wallet and the environment!
Reducing your household waste is a process, and sometimes you will still need to dispose of things no matter how diligent you are. If you need clean out, trash removal, or junk hauling help in Westchester County, call the team at D. Barry Rubbish Inc. Our family-owned company has over 20 years of experience hauling trash and disposing of it responsibly. Call us today for regular or emergency junk removal services you can count on!