Taking out the trash – it’s one of the most despised household tasks, yet it always seems to be at the top of the to-do list. According to some recent reporting, we are constantly on the way to “throw it away.” In fact, every North American generates more than 100 tons of garbage in their lifetime…garbage that ultimately sits in landfills and barely biodegrades!
Over 100 tons of garbage sounds like a tremendous amount of junk, but when compared with other countries, the amount is actually ENORMOUS! But how does everyone else keep it all in check? They recycle! By recycling more and throwing away less, these countries (like Sweden, which recycles a whopping 99 percent of its waste) keep toxic waste from polluting the air and oceans.
Take a page from the Swedes and adopt the following tips, which are part of the zero-waste lifestyle, which is exactly what it sounds like: no waste whatsoever. Even if you can’t achieve a completely waste-free existence, with these three rules, at least you’ll have a head start in reducing the amount of garbage you personally produce.
1. Buy reusable water containers: Even if you recycle your plastic water bottles, all of those plastic parts still end up somewhere. Invest in a filtered pitcher for home and take a reusable, BPA-free bottle with you on the go. By refilling it with tap water, you’ll save yourself the cost of always buying new bottles and you’ll save the environment from all that added waste.
2. Go paperless: From your health insurance provider to your electric company, many businesses now offer paperless billing (some will even give you a discount for choosing to be billed by email!). You can also put a stop to receiving all of those mailed catalogues and brochures and browse them online. A guaranteed step to decreasing your trips to the dumpster!
3. BYOB and W: The next time you head out for groceries, bring your own cloth bags and wrappings. Think about all of the waste you create by tossing your produce into small plastic sacs. By bringing your own cloth bags and reusable items, you’ll seriously cut down on your personal trash heap and the one growing at the landfill.