Us Americans, while having many admirable qualities about us, tend to take up a lot of resources to sustain, and we make a ton of garbage, while we’re at it. As a matter of fact, Americans produce well over 250 million tons of garbage every year. This means every person is trashing over 4 pounds every day. That’s a lot of trash. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. If we all were even just a little bit more conscious about how much waste we generate, and put just a little more effort into being less…trashy…then we could save millions and millions of waste every year. Here are some quick ways that you can reduce waste in your own home, and be more sustainable, in general…
Make your recycling more accessible than your trash can
The absolute easiest thing that you can do to create less garbage in your home is make it a little harder to get to the garbage can. We tend to be creatures of convenience in this country. It’s just how we operate. For this reason, making it a little less convenient to get to the garbage can, while a little more convenient to get to the recycling bin, is going to inspire us to do a whole lot more recycling, and a lot less mindlessly throwing things in the trash without thinking about it.
Revamp your water appliances
Did you know that a leaking faucet that drips one drop of water every second will waste almost 2700 gallons of water in a single year? That’s an astonishing amount, especially when California seems to be dying of thirst every other year. The issue with water waste is that it is so easy to just let it slide by. It’s incredibly easy to just ignore a leaky faucet that isn’t doing any major, at the moment. This is true of all your water appliances. An old toilet is usually wasting about 4 gallons of water, every time it flushes, and yet that amount could be reduced just by changing a few things about how the toilet operates. Taking a look at all of your water appliances and looking into how they can use less water may seem like a hassle, but it goes a long way. Checking up on your plumbing also reduces the risks of flooding!
Be conscious of how much energy your home uses
Being sustainable and trash-conscious isn’t just something you can do to make yourself feel good; it can also make your wallet a little fatter! Heating, air conditioning, and other energy costs can drain hundreds of dollars out of our account every month. If you’re like many homeowners in America, you are probably spending more than you need to on energy costs. Everyone thinks they need to fork out for solar panels to prevent this, or some other science fiction advancements, but you can reduce these costs with some simple solutions, such as window placement and knowing when to turn your heating/AC on and off. Oh, and turning things off when you aren’t using them goes a long way.
Make a compost pile
It’s inevitable that you are going to have a lot of food and paper waste in your home. Making meals means having scraps of food that aren’t going to end up on people’s plates, whether that be potato peels or apple cores. However, you can make the most of your food scraps and extra newspaper by shredding everything up and creating a compost pile. Compost piles help provide nutrients that can be useful to gardens and trees, and can help your yard look greener than it ever has.
Buy bulk items in reusable containers
When you are hitting the grocery store, almost everything you are purchasing is coming in its own package that took a tremendous amount of energy to produce, yet only holds a little bit of product. Don’t fall into this trash trap. Instead, you can reduce waste and save some money by buying most kitchen staples in bulk in containers that can be reusable, such as jars. Also, purchasing reusable grocery bags that you take to the store, rather than plastic grocery bags, goes a long way towards helping the environment, as well.