People can produce a shocking amount of garbage without realizing it. In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash, and that number only keeps growing as the population increases. All that waste has to go somewhere, and more often than not it ends up sitting in landfills or harming natural wildlife. If you’re looking for a few ways to help outside of your usual recycling, check out these tips that can reduce the amount of waste your home creates.
Mind Your Printing Habits
The average person prints a significant amount of paperwork, or at least handles a fair amount of exchanges through the mail. Try to switch to paperless billing and communications when you can, but if you absolutely have to print something out, be mindful of how you do it. Print documents double-sided whenever possible, and pay attention to your font choice. Some fonts can help you save ink. Times New Roman takes 27% less ink than Arial, according to Consumer Reports.
Donate, Don’t Ditch
Cleaning out your closets can be incredibly cathartic, but what do you do with the clothing you no longer want? If you’ve been throwing away your textiles, there are other options available like donating. The U.S. apparel market is expected to grow to an estimated value of $385 billion by 2025, partially because of the fast fashion industry that relies on you throwing away old clothing. Instead, donate your gently used clothing items and shop second-hand whenever possible.
Rely On Reusable
From plastic water bottles to other types of packaging for products, many items are packaged with excessive waste. Next time you’re about to throw away a bottle or jar, consider washing it so you can reuse it later on. Additionally, there are a variety of reusable alternatives to many types of disposable packaging nowadays that might be worth investing in.
Pare Down Your Packaging
While many types of waste seem unavoidable, you can actually cut down on how much you’re throwing away on a regular basis by simply shopping smarter. Many common household products are available in forms that actually take little or no packaging now, including many common hygiene products. Look for shampoo and conditioner bars, for example, instead of the large plastic bottles you eventually end up throwing away.
Know Your Natural Options
Sometimes, you’ll be in a situation where some waste is inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean you have to resort to options that will end up sitting in a landfill for possibly centuries to come. Look for natural options to your disposable products, such as items that will compost after a certain amount of time. This will help you significantly cut down on how much of a carbon footprint you and your family end up having.
Going zero-waste in your home might be a challenge, but using even a few of these tips can help you create less waste and reduce your family’s carbon footprint. How do you plan to incorporate these ideas into your home and lifestyle?