The increasing amount of waste humans produce is an unavoidable problem that impacts every living creature on the planet—from the animals who mistake plastic for food to the people poisoned by the toxic chemicals from e-waste. We can all play a role in reducing such negative impacts by implementing more sustainable practices in our daily lives. To learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, utilize some of these ways to decrease waste at home.
Utilize reusable items
Today, nearly all disposable products have reusable alternatives. For example, rather than using dozens of plastic water bottles each month, purchase a reusable bottle that can last for many years. Or consider bringing a fabric tote bag with you when you go shopping rather than using several plastic shopping bags to hold your goods. The reusable possibilities are truly endless.
Recycling is widely recognized as an important step to reducing waste. However, there’s still a big misunderstanding about what items are recyclable, which results in high levels of contamination. Recycling contamination refers to when people place unrecyclable materials in recycling bins. When this happens, the recyclable materials in the bin are often rendered unrecyclable. As such, it’s incredibly important to recognize which items can’t be recycled
before tossing something in your curbside bin. Unrecyclable items include plastic bags, bottle caps, and objects with food residue.
Create a compost bin
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States and around the world. People often buy or make more food than they’re able to eat before it spoils. As such, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food end up in landfills each year. In addition to making more realistic food purchases, a great way to reduce your food waste is to start a compost bin. By composting, you can turn spoiled food into nutritious feed for your garden rather than filler for landfills.
Repair electronics before replacing
Today, when an electronic device breaks or stops working, people’s first response is often to replace it with a new version. This habit greatly contributes to the growing quantity of hazardous e-waste, which releases toxic chemicals into the soil, groundwater, and air. If you’re able to repair your television
or computer, doing so will help reduce such harmful effects and save you money at the same time.
Ward off junk mail
Junk mail isn’t beneficial for anyone. Energy, gas, paper, and time are all wasted just so that a letter can clutter up your mailbox and promptly make its way into the recycling bin. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to stop such unnecessary waste, such as canceling subscriptions and calling to ask companies to remove you from their mailing list.