When it comes to saving the environment, a big factor is how much waste you produce. A popular heading I saw at this year’s State Fair was “Reduce Waste: If not you, who?” I grew up learning “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but it can be hard to implement into certain areas of our life. If you are just getting started on the 3Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: An Easy Household Guide by Nicky Scott can be a helpful guide. It has information, organized A-Z, on every item any of the 3Rs could be applied to. Even for experienced reducers, reusers, and recyclers, you’ll learn new things and get new ideas. For example, did you know that Pyrex can’t be recycled? And you can save water by rinsing out containers with the water left over from hand washing.
To start, look at your habits. Is there anyway you could easily reduce what you throw? Do you waste a lot of food because it doesn’t get eaten? Try to make less or work on taking proper portions. Do you use a lot of disposable plates and silverware? Try to avoid that when possible and use compostable dinnerware if you have to go disposable. Are you recycling everything your city allows, and making sure you aren’t invalidating your load somehow?
But even by implementing the basics, my family still produces a lot of trash every week, so I started looking into ways to reduce further. It’s a start, but just cutting a few sources of trash out of your life can make a huge impact. And it won’t just improve the earth’s health; some of these solutions will improve your family’s health as well.