Reducing Waste at Home

The trash you put on the curb is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to waste generation. For every pound of waste your family generates, 71 more pounds were created in the manufacturing of that product!*

Reducing waste at home means not generating waste in the first place. A simple change in habits can reduce the amount of trash you put to the curb.

Ten Tips for Reducing Waste at Home:

  1. Purchase products with less packaging. Buy in bulk, switch to concentrated products, or choose brands that reduce packaging.
  2. Reduce unwanted mail. Visit www.dmachoice.org to opt out of national junk mail. Contact local and regional companies sending you unwanted mail and ask to be taken off their list.
  3. Use reusable shopping bags. .
  4. Just Mow It Leave grass clippings on your lawn. The clippings will decompose, adding much needed nutrients to your grass and lightening the waste you bring to the curb.
  5. Drink from a reusable mug or water bottle. Many coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring your own mug..
  6. Repair furniture or list on the internet. Refinish or reupholster old furniture. Or, list your old furniture on a reuse websitelike freecycle.org , trashnothing.com or craigslist.com.  Or donate it to Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army.
  7. Limit household hazardous waste. Measure before you purchase paint, pesticides, and fertilizers so you don’t overbuy. Consider rechargeable batteries. Visit TAKEBackYourHome.org for more tips.
  8. Compost food scraps and yard trimmings.  If your backyard space is limited, consider vermicomposting with worms. Learn more about transforming yard trimmings into a valuable soil amendment by reading A Simple Guide to Composting in Your Backyard.
  9. Start canning.  Buy produce when it is in season and abundant to save you money and reduce packaging waste.
  10. Try reusable diapers. Disposable diapers make up 5% of what goes into our landfill. That amounts to 50,000 tons of diapers every year from Hamilton County residents!

*Information from: Platt, Brenda and Seldman, Neil. Wasting and Recycling in the United States 2000. Institute for Local Self Reliance, 2000.