Follow these steps below to see how waste-wise you already are and what you can do when shopping to improve and reduce and recycle the excess in your home.
- When buying items for the house, make choices about packaging. Do not buy items that come in non-recyclable packaging. Begin to think about how much waste each item will create and make your buying decision based on these items.
- Shop at local and farmer’s markets. Most items do not come in packages at all. If you bring your own bags you will create zero waste.
Be Prepared: Become a Packer
- Eat, or bring, most of your family meals from home. By doing this you can significantly reduce your daily trash production. Pack your lunch boxes for your kids. Bring snacks with you when going out for the day.
- Package items in re-useable baggies. Reduce the purchase of portable drinks and “snack size” packaging. Carry a water bottle that you can refill from a fountain.
Raise a Green Baby
- Cloth diapers have come a long way. They are now available in stylish patterns and are becoming popular again. While this is a change that will take some getting used to, consider that it is estimated that it takes 500 years for a standard diaper to breakdown in a landfill. If cloth diapering is too much of a change for you, there are hybrid and compostable diapers now on the market.
- Make your own baby food and put the food in reusable containers. Not only will you know exactly what is in the food but you will be saving money and waste.
Compost as a Family
- Even when you buy items from the farmer’s market or perhaps bring in vegetables from your own garden there will still be some waste generated. This type of waste, however, can be saved and with a little effort later be used to create important nutrient rich soil for your plants and garden.
- Look for composting bins for your countertop and composting bins for your yard.
- Most counties now have free bins and curb side pick-up of household recycling. Make this a fun project for your kids! Color code the bins in your garage and discuss the benefits to the earth and local community. To find out if your neighborhood has this check out your counties website for more information.
- There are businesses that work with schools to collect recyclables as fund raisers for the school. One fundraising project called, Tera-cycle uses these items to create new consumer products, extending the life of what would otherwise be put into landfills.
~ By Angela Ardolino and Krayl Funch
Angela’s Teachable Moment: Teach your children about environmental consciousness by explaining the importance of using a re-useable water container over plastic water bottles. When they feel like they can play a role in protecting our world they will feel important and want to practice environmentally friendly habits.
photo credit: istockphoto.com