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5 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Home
Sustainable Living
The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash every single day, amounting to a shocking 700,000 tons of garbage produced every day.

This may seem like an overwhelming amount and you’re probably thinking there isn’t much you can do to fix the problem, but think again! There are families in the US who have been able to reduce their waste to one pint-sized jar per year (yes, you read that right). And one New Yorker even figured out how to produce only a 16-ounce glass of waste over two years. True story, we swear!  Now while you might not be able to reduce your household waste that drastically, here are a few simple ways cut down on trash. 

1. Ditch those paper towels

Paper towels are a staple in almost every kitchen in America and most of us don’t think twice about using them to clean up small messes. And let’s face it, if you have kids there are WAY too many opportunities to waste those paper towels.    While most other countries swear by mops, brooms and sponges, America seems to have a strange obsession with paper towels. In the United States, we use more than 6,500,000  tons of paper towels every year – that’s a tremendous amount of waste. Here are some eye-opening statistics:  

  • According to the EPA, paper and paperboard products make up the largest percentage of all municipal solid waste, at a whopping 25.9 percent.
  • To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed.
  • It would take 51,000 trees planted per day to replace the number of paper towels that are tossed each day.

  Convinced to ditch those paper towels yet? We thought so.  But this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice convenience and cleanliness in the kitchen. Check out these reusable and washable paper towels, which we are huge fans of. Happy sustainable cleaning!

2. Try some reusable zip lock bags

The average American family uses over 500 zip lock bags per year. Not only do zip lock bags produce an enormous amount of waste, polluting the environment and overflowing landfills, but they are also petroleum based and can contain harmful chemicals.    Ready to trade in those zip lock bags for a reusable option? These silicone storage bags are an environmentally friendly way to store food. They’re plastic-free, easy to clean, non-toxic and so affordable too! They’re also safe for use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, boiling water, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Start composting

Did you know that about 50% of your garbage on a daily basis shouldn’t be thrown away? Half of what we throw away could actually be turned into nutrient-dense organic compost, which can serve as nature’s fertilizer. By composting, you can save money on toxic chemical fertilizers, make your yard healthier, and do something great for the planet. It’s a win-win!   If you don’t know the first thing about composting, check out this article, which can help you get started. 

4. Stop the take out

You probably can’t imagine life without your weekly takeout, but next time you’re ready to head to Seamless and order from your favorite sushi spot, take a minute to think about all the waste that comes with just one order. The food container (if styrofoam or cardboard), the napkins, the plastic silverware, and any condiment packets all end up as waste. If you’re calling in for delivery or carrying out, request no disposable napkins, plastic utensils, or straws. If your food comes in a plastic container, but sure to clean well and recycle or – even better – keep to use as storage in your home.

5. And please stop buying those plastic water bottles!

Water bottles are one of the biggest wastes of material. Invest in a durable and reusable water bottle so that you can take wherever you go and refill throughout the day. Not only will you be less wasteful, but you’ll also feel more hydrated throughout the day!  

 

 


We will definitely be implementing all of these in our homes. Have any other waste-reducing methods you love? Let us know!