Waste not, want not. That's what grandma has been preaching for years. The simple fact is waste is piling up. Individuals are frivolously throwing items into trash bins all over the world and not recycling for convenience sake. Many don't consider the repercussions habits such as these. The amount of waste produced in the world each day is more than 3.5 million tons. Experts estimate that number will rise to nearly 6 million tons per day if the rise remains constant. Individuals ready to make an impact on a world of wastefulness can make simple choices to reduce the amount of trash they produce. By breaking down the waste products into easy categories, choosing to adopt a low to no waste lifestyle is a cinch.
1. In the KitchenMost of the waste produced by a household originates from the kitchen. Walk down the aisles of a grocery store and you'll see a myriad of packages and boxes. Boxes of dry pasta, cans of diced tomatoes, and bags of dry goods litter the shelves. The best solution is to bring empty mason jars to a store that sells items in bulk bins. However, not every community has such low waste stores available. When buying prepackaged food is the only option, aim to recycle as much of the food packaging as possible. After filling the home pantry, it's time to cook dinner. Cooking leaves undesired pieces of produce lying around the kitchen such as the root ends of onions, tops of celery stalks, and tomato tops. These tidbits are often considered common waste and thrown into the garbage bin instead of a lovely compost pile where they belong. If you have the time and energy to do so, consider micro gardening or opening a community garden to share locally-sourced foods, too. These are fun, simple, and inexpensive ways to get the same foods you use normally but in a much Earth-friendlier way.
2. Put It In the CompostNature is fascinating. Special creatures turn kitchen waste into garden gold. In composting terms, produce leftovers are known as "green", and yard scraps, such as leaves and grass clippings, are "brown". Both green and brown items decompose to make a beautiful pile of garden compost. Getting the mix just right is often tricky. Aim for 2 parts green and 1 part brown. This ratio ensures plenty of nitrogen is available as the scraps decompose. The simplest way to keep track of mixing compost is to have a designated composting bucket. For ever bucket of food scraps sent to the compost pile, fill the bucket halfway with yard scraps. Keep the ingredients simple. Here is a list of items not to put in the compost:
- Most Paper