It's not just about throwing less away. When it comes to limiting the trash that your family produces, here's how to cut back from top to bottom at home.
To eliminate some of the excess packaging piling up in landfills, encourage your family to shop for snacks, cereal, and pasta in the bulk section of your grocery store (if yours doesn’t have any bulk items, check out a nearby natural food shop). Then, store it all in reusable glass jars.
Recycle whatever—and whenever—you can. This includes clothes you’ve grown out of and old toys. Instead of sending them to the dump, donate them to friends or family or to a local thrift store.
Minimize your mail
Is your mailbox always full of catalogs? Talk to your family about reducing junk mail by visiting websites like dmachoice.org and catalogchoice.org.
Reach for reusable
Instead of packing your sandwich and snacks in plastic bags, use reusable containers or cloth sacks instead. Same goes for your drink: Skip the juice boxes and opt for a refillable water bottle.
Toss in fruit
Pack an apple, a banana, or an orange. Fruit fills you up in a healthy way, plus there’s no need for extra packaging. (Save the core, peels, and rinds for your compost bin.)
Nix paper napkins and wipe out paper towels
It’s estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper. Save some branches by bringing a cloth napkin that you can wash and reuse. Then clean up in an eco-friendly way by using cloths instead of paper towels. Make your own rags by cutting up old towels or clothes headed to the donation bin.
NO WASTE CHALLENGE!
Using these tips, keep track of the trash you toss. Every week, try to throw out less and less and see how much you can minimize your waste in a month. Some people have managed to put an entire year’s worth of garbage in one jar. Can you beat that?
Credits: Billion Photos, Shutterstock (bulk); GoodMood Photo, Shutterstock; Photka, Shutterstock; HomeStudio, Shutterstock; Africa Studio, Shutterstock; HomeStudio, Shutterstock; 5 Second Studio, Shutterstock