10 Ways to Reduce Household Paper & Plastic Waste

1. Assess the amount of waste your household produces

By examining the amount of waste your household creates, you may be able to find the areas where you can make changes to your habits and the amount of garbage you toss out on a daily basis. Take steps to reduce the amount of household waste you produce and make your home environmentally friendly. When shopping opt for packaging that produces less waste.

2. Recycle

If you do not already do so, start recycling. Recycling can help reduce the amount of paper and plastics that you throw out each day. Learn how to dispose of recyclables in your area if you do not have curbside pickup available at your house or business. Learn which items are recyclable in your area.

3. Compost Pile

Food matter accounts for a huge portion of household waste. A compost pile is one way to get rid of this waste. This waste, when it decomposes creates compost, which can be used to add vitamins to the soil flowerbeds and vegetable gardens and can be used as mulch. You can place items including peels from vegetables and fruits, eggshells, and other household waste including grass clippings and paper into the compost pile.

4. Repurpose Items

It is habit to toss items into the trash once they have completed their original purpose. Repurpose items that can be used in another way. For example, use newspaper to wrap gifts, repurpose empty juice jugs for other beverages or use egg cartons to start plant seeds.

5. Choose Reusable Items

Disposable items such as paper plates and plastic flatware are convenient but fill up the landfill fast. For example, use washable dishrags instead of paper towels, buy cloth napkins instead of paper towels or napkins and use cloth tote bags versus paper bags to bring home groceries.

6. Quality Counts

Buy quality items that can withstand everyday use. You may pay more initially but you will find that you have to replace these items less often, which will save you money down the road. For example, select wooden toys for your children versus plastic ones or glass storage containers versus plastic.

7. Maintenance

Maintain the items that you own either by keeping them in good condition or by repairing them. For example, keep your appliances clean and perform regular maintenance on them, mend torn clothing and get your shoes repaired.

8. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk not only saves you money but also allows you to cut down on plastic packaging. Many stores that sell bulk foods will even allow you to bring in and fill your own reusable containers.

9. Skip Plastic Baggies

When you are grocery shopping, do not put your vegetables into those little plastic bags. Instead, place them right into the cart. While we are on the subject of baggies, instead of using plastic zip top bags for leftover storage, choose either wax paper or a glass container to store left over food in.

10. Do not Buy Items in Plastic

When shopping, buy items in glass or paper packaging instead of plastic. These days even items like laundry soap can be found in paper and you can then use that to refill the plastic bottle you already have at home.

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