An average American produces 4.4. pounds of waste every single day.
With 324 million people in the US, that amounts to 700,000 tons of garbage every day. This fills around 60,000 garbage trucks. That, my friends, is a lot of garbage.
Anything that anyone can do to reduce waste, reuse, and recycle, helps!
Here are 8 Tiny Tips to Help Reduce Waste:
Use A Reusable Water Bottle.
Get one that you love, or even use a glass mason jar. Did you know that Americans used around 50 billion plastic water bottles last year? The U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles, more than $1 billion worth of plastic, are wasted each year, and around eight million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean.
Use Reusable Bags When You Shop.
These come in many different colors and sizes and fit right into your purse or day bag. Americans use 100 billion of the plastic single-use shopping bags you get at the store, and it can end up in the ocean, kill hundreds of thousands of fish and wildlife, or just sit in a landfill. It takes 500+ years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill.
Stop Junk Mail.
All of those pieces of mail in your mailbox can easily be the death of 100 million trees a year, the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. Stop junk mail by signing up at http://www.dmachoice.org (for a $2.00 fee) and www.optoutprescreen.com to opt-out of direct mail orders including catalogs, insurance offers, credit card offers, and more. If for some reason you are still getting antiquated phone books, opt out at www.yellowpagesoptout.com. Get rid of Valpak coupons by going here: www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistsuppression. For those pesky bills, sign up for paperless billing and see just how much more time you will have each month, just by NOT going through the mail.
Recycle Your Old Clothes.
You have options when it comes to recycling your old clothes. Drop them off at Goodwill or any reputable secondhand store. If your clothes are in good condition or designer labels, consider selling them to places like Buffalo Exchange, or online at places like Poshmark, eBay, or TheRealReal. You can even take any textiles from any brand in any condition to H & M to recycle and they will give you 10% off your next purchase. Host a clothing swap with friends or find one in your city to instantly renew your wardrobe.
Stop Using Plastic Straws.
Plastic straws are too small to go through the recycling machines and often end up in the ocean. The next time you are offered a plastic straw, skip it. At home, check out repurposed straws, made 100% from plants, BPA free, renewable, and compostable.
Shop the Farmer’s Markets and Places with Little or Minimal Packaging.
Not only better for your health and your pocketbook shopping at your local farmer’s market will also cut down on packaging waste. Bring along a reusable bag for your trip and check out local purveyors of everything from meats and cheese to handmade candles and bread.
Meatless Monday is a global non-profit movement that was founded in 2003. Forty countries participate, and it is growing every day. Americans consume four times the amount of meat products as the rest of the world. The concept behind Meatless Mondays? Avoid eating meat on Mondays and better the planet as well as your overall health. The meat industry uses vast amounts of fossil fuels and water, with 1,850 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef while 39 gallons are needed to produce the same amount of vegetables. That takes a toll on the planet!
Quality Over Quantity.
Surround yourself with things that are well made and long-lasting. Fast fashion and cheap products that break easily end up in landfills. Try to only buy what you need and what brings you joy. Say no to promotional items, because how many key chains can you really use?
Try just one tip at first and know that is making a difference. Once you have gotten comfortable with that first tip move on to another.
Do you have any tips for reducing waste that did not get mentioned above? Please share them with us in the comments section below!