Here is an important question for you to consider: How low can you go? I am definitely not referring to doing the limbo. In fact, I am talking about the garbage! For how many days can you get your trash output to go? One of the most effective ways to get results of your green efforts to improve environment is to pay close attention to the amount of trash you kick out of your house every week.
You can switch to a relatively smaller trash can, depending on where you live. If you manage to pull that off, you will not only be saving the environment from adverse effects, but also saving a considerable amount of cash. Outlined below are some low-waste ideas:
1. Try Buying Reusable instead of Disposable
Always try to invest in reusable, durable products rather than wasteful disposable. Opt for cotton or microfiber cloths instead of disposable wipes and paper towels. Reusable utensils and tableware should be chosen instead of the disposable type.
Choose a glass straw rather than a one-use straw. Also get items with less packaging. Did you know that packaging makes more than 30% of municipal solid waste? You can easily reduce it to a great extent, provided that you purchase things that come with less packaging.
You can easily reduce the packaging by buying concentrate and diluting them in reusable containers using water. Try to purchase items in bulk whenever possible. Use your own reusable cloth bag rather than a disposable one.
Benefits of using reusable bags:
Over-packaged items normally cost greater than the less-packaged ones. This means that using reusable packaging or less-packaged products can save you a great deal of money.
2. Eliminate mercury from your house
Usually, mercury evaporates pretty easily and is capable of travelling great distances through the atmosphere. Did you know that mercury is a nerve toxin that ends up in our rivers and lakes, where it builds up in fish and other water creatures? We might be at a great risk if we regularly eat fish contaminated with mercury. Mercury can prove to be fatal if ingested by pregnant women, small children or women planning to have kids in the future.
One of the best ways to keep mercury out of the environment is to stop using products that contain mercury. If you are already using such items, be very careful when disposing them off. Don’t forget to take them to the household hazardous waste facility. It can easily be recycled there. Usually, old appliances have mercury hidden inside of them, e.g. an old tilt switch is most likely to have mercury and needs special disposal.
Always keep mercury out of the garbage!
The normal household items that contain mercury include:
- Tilt switches
- Neon lamps
- Steam irons that come with an automatic shut-off
- Fluorescent lamps
- Older batteries
- Switches that are used to stop a washing machine when its top is opened
- Mercury vapor
- Metal halide lamps
- Silent wall switches
- High pressure sodium
Always opt for non-mercury alternatives when purchasing these sorts of products, like alcohol based thermometers for cooking and digital fever thermometers. Why don’t you get an electronic thermostat when replacing?
Benefits of using non-mercury based products
Do you know that throwing away mercury-based products in the garbage is illegal? Taking action against mercury-free products will enable us to prevent numerous health issues, preserve environment and save money that will otherwise be spent on healthcare.
3. Buy the precise amount of paint for your house
Renovating your home? Why don’t you get the exact amount of paint needed? Approximately four million pounds of extra paint was collected during 1998 at household hazardous waste sites of Minnesota, a large volume of which was still usable. The math is incredibly simple:
Area = height x width
One gallon of paint can cover 400 square feet.
Measure the exact area you are planning to paint prior to buying. In order to prevent paint from getting damaged or drying out, you should cover the can with plastic wrap. Always store the paint can upside down. You can use the leftover paint for smaller projects, touchup jobs or as a primer.
Benefits of buying precise amount of paint
Using a precise amount of water-based stains, paints, paint strippers and finishes will help you keep hazardous chemicals away from your house. Purchasing the paints wisely not only prevents wastage, but also saves you money.
4. Prevent food waste
The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has reported that about 27 percent of the country’s total food supply, i.e. 97 billion pounds, was wasted in 1995. Every day, food is being wasted in so many ways, for example letting fresh food go bad, preparing too much food, and buying too much.
You can easily prevent food from wastage by planning everyday meals and making a list of items you need prior to buying. Composting vegetable waste and leftover fruits with your yard waste will create a high-nutrient, effective compost. Why don’t you donate the extra canned food?
Benefits of preventing food waste
It is our duty to make better use of food. It will not only reduce the amount of food we throw away every day, but also save a lot of money. Composting the leftovers is going to provide you with an amazing additive for the garden.
5. Reduce Excess Paper
A considerable portion of what we throw in the trash ever day is paper, much of which comes in the mail. According to a research, an average household in America receive above 500 pieces of mail every year, most of which are advertisements. Try to reduce the amount of mail you receive every day.
Benefits of reducing excess paper
It is advisable to recycle junk mail, since it not only conserves natural resources, but also saves you money, time and landfill space!
About our guest…
As a freelance writer John Cook has written articles on gardening, green culture, organic plants and many other intriguing topics. He has worked for various environmently cautious businesses including Steel Line and various others.