How to manage the waste we produce
As humans, we’ve got a trash problem—and it’s a biggie. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces nearly 6 pounds of trash each day, with 1.5 pounds of that being recycled and the rest being waste. That’s a whole lot of trash!
Manage the waste
While it may seem like a huge issue to tackle, we can each decrease our waste output by playing our part. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled our top tips on how to best manage the waste you produce. Read on to kickstart the eco-friendly process.
1. Use up everything
When preparing dinner, we can get in the habit of peeling all of the vegetables. But contrary to popular belief, this isn’t actually necessary. In fact, the skin often holds the most nutrients and fiber! So by taking peeling the skin off the veggies, we’re missing out on valuable vitamins. Here’s how you can make the most of the skins of your fruit and vegetables:
- Roast vegetables with the skin on
- Zest lemons, limes and other citrus fruit
2. Don’t forget the freezer!
The freezer is a godsend when it comes to making the most of your produce. As soon as you notice your vegetables or fruit starting to wilt or bruise, simply freeze them in handy storage containers. That way you can use them to make smoothies, bake in cakes, or simmer in soups, curries or stir-fries later on.
3. Make your own composting system
Don’t be intimidated by this tip—it’s actually pretty easy to implement. Composting will take all of your natural organic materials, like eggshells, coffee, grass cuttings, and fruit and vegetable peels, and break them down over time into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use in your garden. There are plenty of practical options for the home or the office. If you’re using composting in the office, make sure your commercial cleaner understands how it works too, so you can all be on the same page!
4. Repair rather than discard
Do you remember the last time you fixed something that was broken? I bet you probably don’t. In our consumer culture, we’re suckers for trading out the old for the shiny new thing. But what we don’t think about is that our broken waste is often headed straight for landfill, harming the environment.
Instead of buying poor-quality items that are prone to breaking, invest in quality garments, furniture and technology that will last the test of time. And when an item breaks, spend the time to fix it or send it away for repairs, rather than chucking it out with the weekly garbage run.
5. Recycle, recycle, recycle!
The symbols, rules and regulations around recycling can make it seem like an intimidating task to undertake. But with a little bit of guidance, it’s actually really easy. Look up the rules for your local council to understand how best to recycle in your area. And make sure your entire household, office and commercial cleaners understand them too.
6. Swap out your plastic for sustainable solutions
For decades and decades, we have depended on plastic to meet our storage needs. But now, we’re practically drowning in it and our environment is suffering because of it. The good news is that we can make a change. Take inspiration from the good old days of yesteryear and trade your plastic for more sustainable options like cloth, biodegradable materials, and ceramics.
This small change will make a huge difference to the amount of waste you bring into your home (and the amount of waste you put out). You can also switch out single-use plastic shopping bags for reusable cloth bags. Plan ahead and store reusable bags in your car, handbag and by the front door, so you never forget them!
7. Buy food that has less packaging
In addition to reducing your plastic use, keep an eye out for food that has less packaging when you do your weekly grocery shopping. By doing this, you’ll see your weekly garbage load reduce from a mountain into a molehill.