Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ways to Reduce Waste

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Have you ever visited a landfill? It is overwhelming the stench and the mountain of waste we create as a society. I used to drive by one for years. It started out like a small hill and I wondered what it was. Then I noticed the hill began to grow over time. The big yellow movers moving the trash around could be seen at the top along with the white birds circling feeding off the trash we have thrown away. Then I thought how am I contributing to this mountain of trash and what are some ways I can take action to not increase the growth of this mountain?

 Reduce waste with Lean process improvement
There are many ways to reduce your waste in landfills. Here are a few I do around the house.

1. Stop buying bottled water. Not to mention you are drinking water stored in plastic, but it is water. We use our filtered ice cold water from the fridge and it is great and super cheap. I have purchased each kid their own water bottle, so they each have their own to fill whenever they want. They do not have to ask for water. Here is a great website for more information on plastic water bottles.  Green Upgrader.

2. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. There is no need to get more plastic bags when you probably have a closet full of them at home. I will even show you how to make your own bags using these plastic bags in a post coming soon. If you do use plastic bags, recycle them. Most stores have a place where you can bring back bags to be recycled. My daughter has a place to recycle these bags at her school.

3.  How many paper towels do you use a day? Try to stop using them for everything, even if they are FREE. Did you know you could make your own wipes? These are super easy and FREE. You should already know I love FREE. Any T-Shirts you have that you want to get rid of. Cut a square using both sides of the t-shirt and sew together. To clean them just throw in the wash and hang dry.

4. Buy from the bulk bins at the store. These are items that do not have any additional packaging to be stored on the shelves. Buying these products reduces cardboard, plastic and glue. And these items are usually cheaper, since you do not have to pay for the packaging you are throwing away anyway. If you notice I buy a lot of bulk items at Sprouts every week.

5. What are items you can recycle? Have you started recycling in your home? Take a look around to see what you throw in your trash can. Can this be tossed in the recycle bin? Cardboard boxes such as cereal boxes, pasta boxes and meals in a box can be recycled. Check with your local recycling program to see what plastics can be recycled in your area. There is a number on the plastic carton and different areas recycle different numbers. Usually 1, 2 and 5 are the most popular.

For a family of five we use about one 20 Gallon trashcan and one 20 gallon recycle bin a week. We only take out the trash about once a week. How often do you take out the trash? How can you reduce your waste?

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  1. Hi Amy,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and meeting Shreck. I would love for you to use the link, especially if it will help someone with their compost. Your post is great! Hope you will stop in again and have a great day!
    Miz Helen

  2. Great post. We started using reusable bags three or four years ago and I love them. They hold more stuff, never had one break, and then you don't have tons of plastic bags around the house. We did use to recycle them but reusable bags a so much easier. My husband's only compliant is that we don't have any bags for the bathroom trash cans and the shredder... I actually asked a friend if I could take some of hers :) We haven't bought bottled water in years and we are very big on recycling. I even drive the recycling to a center because I saw the trash truck dump stuff in their normal trash truck so I want to make sure if we put in the effort that it goes to the right place. The other point to make is if you aren't doing it just for yourselves... think of our children and grandchild that have to live with all this trash after we are gone! YUCK!

    1. Thanks Alison. I try to use reusable bags, but I forget sometimes. I spend so much time preparing to go the store, I sometime forget to bring my bags. I try to keep them in my car.


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