Americans generate 4.43 lbs of waste per person per day. Nearly everything that we are throwing away, including packaging, food scraps, plastic, newspapers, and grass clippings, can be reused, recycled, or composted. In fact, 1.51 lbs of that waste is already being recycled or composted in simple and convenient ways. How much garbage do you generate? By following the simple tips below, you can effectively reduce your waste generation:
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to reduce your waste. By simply tossing your plastic, glass, newspapers, and other recyclable items in the recycling bin instead of the garbage, you can help reduce the amount of raw materials needed to make new products, prevent greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, and support the generation of new recyclable materials.
Organic materials make up the largest amount of recoverable waste, followed by paper and paperboard. Composting helps build healthier soils and natural fertilizer, either in your own backyard or in local agriculture. Many municipalities now offer composting which means you can compost food scraps and yard trimmings and effectively reduce what ends up in the landfill. You can also purchase your own backyard or kitchen counter compost bin and enjoy the benefits of composting.
Preventing additional waste is an easy place to begin. Select items that have the least amount of packaging, bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store, shop at secondhand stores, and use only what is necessary. These are all ways you can reduce what you consume by choosing a more sustainable lifestyle.
Both businesses and individuals can shop smart by purchasing items that are made of recyclable materials, utilize minimal packaging, and are reusable. By supporting companies that produce these items, you are effectively using your purchasing power to help create a healthier planet.