Simple Ways to Help Reduce Landfill Waste

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landfill by ellesmere FNC + James via Flickr

While it’s next to impossible to avoid contributing to at least some landfill waste these days, all of us can still make an effort to avoid contributing more than is necessary to our local landfills. It doesn’t even take much effort to do your part in reducing landfill waste. Here are some simple ideas and tips to incorporate into your daily life.

1. Eat Healthier

Manage both your waist — and your household waste — by eating healthier. Typically, healthier foods come with less packaging. Think: fruits and vegetables. Foods that come in bulky packaging are often processed foods that aren’t healthy for you anyway. Try to use more real ingredients to benefit not only the Earth, but your health as well.

2. Recycle

Everyone knows the importance of recycling, and recycling doesn’t even take much effort. It only takes a second to throw a cereal box in a recycling bin rather than the trash can. Make it even easier on yourself by keeping recycling bins in multiple locations of your house. Those shampoo bottles in your bathroom might not make it down to the recycling bin in the kitchen when you’re in a hurry, so keep recycling containers throughout your house.

3. Don’t Use Plastic Water Bottles

How hard is it to drink from a glass or from a reusable water bottle? Purchasing one or two reusable water bottles once will end up costing less than the sum total of the hundreds or thousands of plastic water bottles you’ll end up buying otherwise. Plastic water bottles are pointless and damaging to the Earth. Reusable water bottles are a much better solution.

4. Make Green Purchasing Decisions

The green movement is a popular one, and advertisers aren’t shy about letting you know when packaging is made from recycled products. When you have a choice, always choose the product with packaging made from recycled materials.

5. Clean with Fewer Products

You really don’t need a separate product to clean every surface of your house. Baking soda and vinegar can be used in a variety of ways to get your home sparkling clean. Not only will you be helping the environment by using fewer chemicals, you’ll also keep those many cleaning product bottles out of the landfills.

6. Compost

No matter how economical you are with your food, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with some kitchen waste. Instead of throwing it in the trash, use it for compost — creating nutrient-rich food for your plants.

7. Buy Reusable Bags

It doesn’t take any extra effort to use reusable bags at the grocery store, but it does reduce waste significantly. If you struggle to remember to bring your bags to the store, keep them in your trunk instead of somewhere in the house. It will only take one or two trips for you to remember to grab them before you head inside to do your grocery shopping.

8. Use Thrift Stores

Use thrift stores both ways — donate your used items there instead of throwing them in the trash, and purchase items from the thrift store to keep reusable items in circulation — rather than ending up in a landfill.

9. Use Rechargeable Batteries

There’s nothing worse than needing to use an electronic when the batteries have died. Help yourself out by using rechargeable batteries. Not only will you enjoy regular use of your battery-operated electronics, but you’ll also keep batteries out of your local landfill.

Just a few small changes in your regular routines and purchasing decisions can make a big difference in your personal impact on the environment.