The ABCDs Of Reducing Your Family's Trash

The average American throws away 4.38 pounds of trash each day. For a family of four, that's more than 17 pounds every day. When you consider how many people live in the United States, 318.9 million in 2014, you have to wonder how that much trash will affect future generations. For this reason, many people are trying to reduce their household waste as much as possible. Recycling is a popular choice, but there are several other things that can be done to reduce the amount of trash your family contributes to landfills. Here's what they are.

Activate your children to recycle & repurpose

Teach your kids to recycle and repurpose whatever possible from the trash. There are many websites that will help you teach your children the importance of recycling and how to accomplish it effectively and safely. Train your children to be environmentally friendly by setting a good example for them. Schedule time each day to rinse out empty cans and bottles and set them into the recycling bins.

Repurpose some of your trash. Some items and materials can be repurposed into usable things. Repurposing is a great activity that can bring out the creativity in your children. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity.

  • newspapers can be used as packaging material or to clean glass and mirrors
  • soda bottles can be used to make bird feeders or bowling pins that can be knocked down with a rubber ball
  • cardboard tubes from inside paper towel and toilet paper rolls can be used to store strings of holiday lights
  • cut eye holes into paper plates and decorate them to create masks of your children's favorite animals

Buy your foods & goods in bulk

Buy food, toiletries and cleaning supplies in bulk whenever possible. By doing this, your family will cut down on the amount of packaging materials that will need to be thrown away after use. Buying in bulk is usually a great way to save money, which is an added bonus. If you do buy food in bulk, be sure your family can consume the food before it expires after opening or you may end up with more waste than if you buy it in a regular size.

Compost leftover food & yard waste

According to The Washington Post, 40% of all food in the United States gets wasted or goes rotten. Now, consider how much you spend on groceries each month. Multiply that number by .40 and the result may make you reconsider your habits when it comes to purchasing, preparing, and throwing out your food.

Instead of throwing the wasted and rotted food into the trash, compost it for your garden. Organic matter, such as vegetables and eggshells, will decompose and provide nutrients to your garden. Do not put meat into your compost, because that's just asking for stray and wild animals to dig into your compost pile.

Ditch disposable dishes & flatware

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes it's easier to use disposable dishes and flatware. While it does save time in cleaning up after a meal, using these items regularly creates a lot of unnecessary trash for the landfills. Ditch using these disposable items, but don't throw them into the trash can. Save them for special occasions, such as when you take your family to a picnic in the park, or repurpose them into toys for your children.

If you do want to use disposable flatware more than occasionally in your household, purchase the sturdiest ones you can find so they will hold up to being washed in the sink. Do not put any plastic flatware in the dishwasher unless the packaging specifies they are dishwasher safe.

When it comes to your trash, being environmentally friendly can mean more than just sorting used cans and bottles. Sit down with your family or a call professional trash removalists like Progressive Waste Solutions of FL Inc. and see if they have any other ideas that can help reduce your trash.