Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monthly Challenge for July: Reduce Trash in Half

This month, my goal is to reduce our trash in half.  I have made a lot of progress in this area in the past several years.  4-5 years ago, I had a medium sized trash can that I filled to the brim every week.  I didn't bother to recycle on a regular basis.  It was something that was important back then.  After watching a movie  in a hotel one night on Dirty Jobs about where our trash goes, etc. I decided to get the smallest trash can offered by our garbage company so I could reduce the trash in our household.  You can fit approximately 2-3 kitchen trash bags in the smallest can.  It was definitely a step in the right direction.  It was really a challenge for me at first, but then we started to recycle more regularly and got used to it.   This past year, I have already reduced our trash down to 1 kitchen bag a week on average.  This month, I will do what I can to reduce it even more.  How can someone reduce their trash?  Try some of the following suggestions:

1.  Recycle your old computer paper, newspaper, junk mail, catalogs, phone books, advertisements, etc.

2.  Recycle plastics that your area accepts.  If you are buying orange juice in a carton that can't be recycled, try purchasing things in recyclable packages.  Or, squeeze your own orange juice if money isn't an issue.

3.  When you are finished with cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, and other cardboard items, recycle them.

4.  Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags.  If you have a stash of plastic bags, take them to a grocery store that recycles them.

5.  Take your own water bottle with you filled with tap water.  If you don't trust tap water, boil it for 5 minutes, let it cool and then use it.

6.  Stop purchasing processed food and single serving items.

7. Buy items in bulk and bring your own containers.

8.  Compost.  We haven't done a lot of this yet, but are beginning to do some.

9.  Drink water.  Skip soft drinks and juices.

10.  Don't bring the trash home.  Stop it before it comes into the house.

There are a lot of other ways to reduce your trash.  What are some of your ideas?

I find that if I take the time to look at what I am recycling, I can see where I can improve.  I also try to be more careful about what goes into my trash can.  If there is a way I can recycle or donate, I try that route first.  

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