If your garbage cans are constantly overflowing before the waste removal truck makes its weekly rounds, you are not alone. According to recent information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans, on average, generate more than four pounds of trash per day. Using these numbers, the average family of four could generate more than sixteen pounds of trash per day and a whopping 5,840 pounds, or nearly three tons, of trash each year! With these figures, is it any wonder that your trash cans are overflowing? Instead of hurrying off to the home improvement store to buy larger garbage cans, consider implementing these easy steps to lighten your waste removal load.
Step One: Limit Incoming Waste
The first step in reducing the amount of waste your home generates is to remember that packaging and disposable items that come into the home are likely to end up inside the garbage can and add to an already heavy load of trash. To limit incoming waste, use the following rules when shopping:
- opt to purchase loose produce, instead of packaged varieties to reduce the amount of foam and plastic wrap you take home
- purchase meats in bulk packages inside of individual ones
- purchase cereal and household staples, such as flour, sugar and rice in bulk bags
- purchase detergents, cleaning supplies and toiletries in the largest possible size
- choose not to purchase disposable diapers, tableware, razors and paper towels
- use your own cloth shopping bags, instead of the disposable ones provided by the store
Step Two: Get More Than One Use From Common Items
Learning to use a few common ingredients or products to do the work of several can make a tremendous difference in the amount of waste your home produces. For example, find one brand of shampoo or toothpaste that the whole family can agree to use and then purchase the largest bottle available. This one act could instantly eliminate three-fourths of the shampoo and toothpaste containers that end up in your trash.
Another great example is to forego purchasing specialized products, such as oven or tub and tile cleaners and learn to use inexpensive, readily available items like baking soda and white vinegar instead. To easily clean greasy oven soil or soap scum from fixtures and tile:
- make a thin paste by whisking baking soda and water together in a plastic bowl
- use a sponge to apply the mixture to the interior of the oven, tile surfaces or porcelain bath fixtures, making sure to thickly coat heavily soiled areas
- mist these areas with a spray bottle that contains a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water
- let dry for a few hours or overnight
- remove baking soda paste with a wet sponge, scrubbing any stubborn spots
- mist surfaces again with the vinegar and water solution to remove any leftover residue and then buff the surfaces to a shine with a clean cloth
Using baking soda and vinegar for this type of cleaning will eliminate aerosol oven cleaner and tub and tile cleaner cans and bottles from ending up in your garbage can. As a bonus, both baking soda and vinegar can be purchased in large quantities at a very economical price. In addition, these two items can also replace other products in your home, such as glass cleaners, room fresheners, toothpaste, kitchen sanitizing sprays and more, making them an even better waste reduction tool for your household.
Step Three: Recycle Everything Possible
The last step in reducing the amount of waste your family sends to the garbage can is to learn to recycle everything possible. For instance, vegetable peelings, newspapers, cardboard, leaves and grass clippings can become compost. Food scraps, such as stale bread and leftovers from meals can help feed a few backyard chickens to produce eggs for the family. Outgrown or unwanted clothing, furnishings, books and household items can be donated or sold, instead of ending up on the curb.
Begin your household waste reduction plan with just these three steps and soon you may find yourself trading in those large garbage cans for a svelte and sexy smaller one! For more ideas, contact places like Progressive Waste Solutions of FL Inc.