Saturday, January 12, 2013
Resolve to Make Less Trash
Welcome to 2013. Since we are trying to make minimum waste, we have several plans to help us achieve our zero-waste goal. With the average American making almost 5 lbs of garbage per day, it is EASY to find ways to make less waste.
Here are ways we plan to continue or start making less waste:
Continue to bring our own bags. Not just to the grocery store, but to the mall or anywhere we need to make a purchase. The U.S. goes through an estimate 100 billlion shopping bags annually. A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 to degrade in a landfill. Only about 3% are recycled. Yikes, right?!
Continue to use our own reusable water bottles, and coffee cups. Here too, the statistics are boggling. I'm happy to say that as I go visit classes with our waste reduction programs, 4 years ago, I would look out and there would be a sea of disposable water bottles on students desks. Today, I rarely spot more than a couple in a class of students.
Call the companies for the few catalogs that are showing up in our mail, and get off their mailing list. We can find it all online. If you want to reduce your junk mail, here is an excellent article on the ways to cut down on the waste.
Give up paper towels. This has been a hard one for us. We have gone about three weeks without paper towels, and I must admit, for certain clean ups, they are nice, but we are going to try.
Fix It. If something breaks. We will attempt to fix it before buying something new.
We are making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, so along with that goal, we are trying to buy local. Local foods are higher in nutrients, and it is a great way to teach your children about food and what grows in each season.
Along with our eat more vegetables, we have a goal for less food waste. It is estimated that about 40% of all food is wasted in the U.S. It isn't just the food that is waste. Water, transportation, store resources, refrigerator energy - all down the drain when we toss that food. Better planning equals less waste.
What are your goals for the year?