You’ve probably heard about how our trash is effecting the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2012 more than 251 tons of trash was generated in America alone. Whether you believe in the theories or not, most of us can agree the more we recycle and the greener we live, the better our future and the future of our children will be. That same study done by the EPA showed about 87 millions tons of waste was either composted or recycled. There are some really easy ways you can shrink the amount of trash and increase the amount recycled by doing some simple things around your home to live a greener lifestyle.
Most of us already know you can recycle bottles, cans and glass jars. Something you might not have realized is you can also recycle a lot of the empty containers often tossed out in your bathroom. Anything from shampoo bottles to empty deodorant containers can be recycled. Make an effort to really think about the things you toss out the most and try to come up with ways you might be able to re-use those items yourself, or if they can be recycled.
Some other items that can be easily recycled include reading glasses, plastic utensils, paper (leave out the bright colors, glossy textures and construction paper unless you can come up with a re-use for them as these types of paper cannot be recycled). Paint cans, appliances, batteries and electronics can often also be recycled but those items you might not be able to just leave in your recycle bin for roadside pickup.
Looking at ways to cut back on packaging can also help to reduce the amount of trash you toss out. If possible, buy items such as toilet paper, paper towels and laundry soap in bulk or large containers. If you use bottled water, try to avoid buying the small bottles and purchase jugs instead. You could also considered using a water purifier as well.
Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. Not only does it cut back on the plastics bags getting tossed in your trashcan, they can also hold a lot more and tend to be more sturdy. If you can’t use this type of bag, try to find ways to reuse the plastic and paper bags you get from your shopping trips.
Another fairly simple way to reduce waste in your home is by making a compost bin. You can toss a lot of things into a compost bin and later use it as a fertilizer. You can toss scraps such as fruit, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, yard clippings and leaves into a compost bin.
You can also look into the energy efficiency of your home. Not only can this help the environment, but it can help your bottom line as well. Check around your home for any cracks or crevices where you might be losing heat. Install a programmable thermostat, and make sure your windows and doors are air tight. If you have old drafty windows or doors in your home, you might want to consider looking into replacing them. This will keep the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer; meaning you’re spending less on heating and cooling costs and also helping the environment.
There are a lot of things you can do to live a little greener if you just give it some thought. Most of the time, not only are you helping the environment, but you’re helping yourself. Whether it’s saving money on gas by carpooling, making your own fertilizer by composting, saving on your heating and cooling bill with more energy efficient windows and doors, reusing your glass jars to create a beautiful project or installing energy efficient appliances; every little bit helps and can go a long way.