Simple Ways to Reduce the Amount of Waste You Generate

We all know how important recycling is if you want to live green. Reusing what you can or giving someone else, the chance to use what you throw away has a huge impact on the health of the planet.

The amount of municipal waste that is recycled in the US has increased at a phenomenal rate since the 1960s. In 1960, only 5.61 million tons of waste was recycled. By 2012, 81 million tons was being recycled across the US.
However, there is still a lot more that can be done. At the moment, only 34.5% of municipal waste is being recycled.Here are a few ways to increase how much you recycle and improve those figures.

Reduce what you buy
The first tip is to make recycling a part of your daily life. Before you buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. The less new stuff you buy the less need there will be to recycle.

Buy used goods when you can
If you do need something consider buying it second hand or re-purposing something you already own. Perhaps you could swap something with a friend or family member.

Think before you bin
Before you throw something away, ask yourself if you could use it in another way. Failing that, try to ensure that it is recycled. There are thousands of curbside waste disposal facilities available, so recycling your trash is no longer difficult.

Just invest in a couple of extra bins to make separating out your rubbish easy. All you have to do then is to drop it off at a recycling zone once a week. In most cases, there will be one on a route that you use regularly. If there are not many recycling points in your neighbourhood lobby your councillor to have some set up.

Any green waste you have can easily be composted. Setting up a compost heap in a garden need not cost much or take up much space.

Green home improvements
Being green on a daily basis soon becomes a habit that is easy to maintain. However, many people forget to be green when they are carrying out home improvements. This is a shame because much of the good work that they have done throughout the year by reducing consumption and recycling is cancelled out when they carry out a home improvement project.

When planning a project try to be greener. For example, use second hand building materials when you can. Repurpose furniture and soft furnishings. If you have to buy them, new try to buy products made from recycled materials or products with good green credentials.

If you are going to generate a lot of rubbish, make sure that it does not end up in landfill. You can easily find skip hire companies that recycle on The best firms will be able to ensure that at least 70% of what you skip is recycled rather than ending up in landfill.

Green transport
Whenever you can use public transport, it is much greener than travelling in a single occupancy car. When that is not possible, consider car pooling or cycling instead. Buying a greener vehicle will also help, as will trying to holiday closer to home and visiting family that live close together in one day rather than making multiple trips.

Of course, there are other ways to live a greener life, but these are the changes that make the biggest difference.

Image Source: Green Wikia


One Comment on “Simple Ways to Reduce the Amount of Waste You Generate

  1. Reducing is so much better than reusing. I recently gave up packaged foods for fresh foods and my food packaging waste went way down, my other ‘waist’ also went down. 🙂

    Same thing for driving, even ‘green’ cars have a high environmental impact with all the infrastructure needed and the fact that we are using 10 or more times our body weight in metal to cart us around. I definitely would like to see people drive less. It just might help our obesity problem also!