How to produce less trash

Table of contents:

How to produce less trash
How to produce less trash

Can't handle the amount of garbage your family produces? To remedy the situation, start treating your trash more responsibly. With proper planning, you can save money and reduce your environmental impact. Learn what to do with garbage, food leftovers, and recyclable waste in this article.


Method 1 of 3: How to Reduce Waste

Manage Your Home Waste Step 1
Manage Your Home Waste Step 1

Step 1. Use cloth bags and bags instead of plastic bags

This small change will allow you to significantly reduce the amount of garbage in your home. Wherever you go shopping, take reusable fabric bags with you and skip the plastic bags at the store. Buy a few reusable pouches and totes in advance and keep them where you remember to grab them before going to the store (for example, in the kitchen or in the trunk of your car).

  • If you forget to bring your bags with you, you can still cut down on your trash. Ask the cashier or the person who is packing your groceries not to put them in two bags for strength. Many stores also sell reusable bags, so you can buy them instead of plastic or paper bags. There are never too many of them.
  • With bags made of fabric, you can go not only for groceries. Take a cloth bag with you if you need to buy clothes, tools, or any other items.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 2
Manage Your Home Waste Step 2

Step 2. Buy food in minimal packaging

If you often buy portioned foods in plastic-wrapped boxes, you are generating more trash than you could possibly be. Try to buy groceries in minimal packaging, especially if it is plastic, and you will notice that the pile of rubbish in your home will be less. Below are some guidelines:

Buy groceries in large packages. You can buy rice, beans, breakfast cereals, tea, spices and other dry foods in large and extra large packages. Store bulk goods in sealed glass or plastic containers at home

Manage Your Home Waste Step 3
Manage Your Home Waste Step 3

Step 3. Produce vermicompost

At home, you can produce compost using worms.

  • Prepare food yourself and do not reheat convenience foods. Convenience foods and take-out food are usually sold in excess packaging, and all of that packaging ends up in the trash. It will certainly take longer to cook your own food, but you should try doing it. It will also be useful for your figure.
  • Buy liquid foods (including dairy) in containers that can be returned or reused. If bottles do not have a deposit in your country, buy liquids in containers that you can reuse for any purpose. This will reduce the amount of plastic in your home.
  • Buy groceries in the markets. On the market, you can buy a variety of fresh produce that is not wrapped in plastic. Take fabric bags with you to wrap your groceries.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 4
Manage Your Home Waste Step 4

Step 4. Don't buy bottled drinks unless absolutely necessary

Bottles of water and other drinks are a major source of land pollution in many regions. It is dangerous to drink tap water in some places, but if this is not a problem in your country, switch to tap water. If you don't like the taste of tap water, use a filter. It is more economical and environmentally friendly.

  • If you are not afraid of difficulties, try preparing drinks yourself. For example, try making ginger ale. Homemade lemonades and lime juice drinks are always delicious.
  • If you still cannot refuse to buy bottled water, choose large containers, not small ones. Buy a large 20 liter dispenser bottle, not 20 one liter bottles.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 5
Manage Your Home Waste Step 5

Step 5. Use less paper

If you use a computer, you probably have very few reasons to keep paper at home. Try to buy less paper and avoid unnecessary mailings and inbox ads to avoid sorting out paper trash.

  • Avoid paper bills if possible. Pay all bills online.
  • Read the news on the internet and unsubscribe from the newspaper.
  • Place an ad on your inbox asking you not to advertise for you.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 6
Manage Your Home Waste Step 6

Step 6. Try to make detergents and cleaners yourself

Many containers of detergents and cleaning agents are not recyclable and end up in landfill. If you have the time and desire, make home remedies and store them in glass containers. This will save you money and generate less waste. You will also be able to avoid the presence of unnecessary chemicals in your home. Try the following remedies:

  • detergent for clothes;
  • glass cleaner;
  • bathroom cleaner;
  • kitchen cleaner;
  • hand soap;
  • shampoo and conditioner

Method 2 of 3: How to Reuse and Recycle Items

Manage Your Home Waste Step 7
Manage Your Home Waste Step 7

Step 1. Whenever possible, distribute unnecessary items

If you have clothing, electronics, or other items in good condition that you do not need, don’t throw them away, but give them to someone else. It would be better if they end up in someone's closet or on someone's desk than in a landfill.

  • Old clothes and scraps of fabric can be recycled.
  • Boarding schools and schools often accept unnecessary computers or electronics.
  • Give furniture, electronics, and other items you no longer need to a homeless shelter, thrift store, or charity.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 8
Manage Your Home Waste Step 8

Step 2. Reuse different containers

Strong containers for food and products can be used several times. Bottles, boxes and bags can be used if you know what they can be used for.

  • Collect recyclable waste in paper bags if you don't have a bucket. You can also make school-like protective book covers out of them.
  • Print documents on both sides of the paper, or give unnecessary paperwork to children to draw on the back.
  • Store dry food and food leftovers in glass containers (if no toxic chemicals were previously stored in them).
  • You can also store various things in plastic containers, but you can't use them for storing food too often. Plastic sooner or later begins to decompose and poison food with chemicals, even if it is suitable for storing food.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 9
Manage Your Home Waste Step 9

Step 3. Separate waste in a manner appropriate in your country

In some countries or cities, it is possible to collect plastic, glass and paper separately, while in others it is customary to put all recyclable waste in one container. In some places, garbage is taken out by garbage trucks, in others it must be brought in on your own. Find out how to handle the recyclable waste in your community.

  • Typically, the following types of waste are recycled:

    • plastic containers with a code from 1 to 7;
    • waste paper (printer paper, egg cartons, newspapers, cardboard);
    • glass containers;
    • aluminum cans and foil.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 10
Manage Your Home Waste Step 10

Step 4. Dispose of hazardous waste properly

There is waste that cannot be reused or recycled. They must be disposed of in special containers. Try to use as few of the following items as possible and only throw them away in specific areas:

  • batteries;
  • dye;
  • TVs, computers and other electronics;
  • light bulbs.

Method 3 of 3: How to compost

Manage Your Home Waste Step 11
Manage Your Home Waste Step 11

Step 1. Collect leftover food and leaves at your summer cottage separately

Disposing of organic waste is optional. You can compost them to create a rich and nutritious fertilizer that will benefit your garden. If you don't have a garden, you can give the compost to someone who needs it. There are many ways to compost. There are special mixtures that even allow the use of meat and dairy products. There are mixes only for fruits and vegetables. If you decide to compost, start collecting the following waste:

  • Green. This is a waste that quickly decomposes (cleaning from fresh vegetables, coffee cake, tea bags, grass, leaves).
  • Brown. It is waste that decomposes slowly (twigs and sticks, paper, cardboard, eggshells, sawdust).
Manage Your Home Waste Step 12
Manage Your Home Waste Step 12

Step 2. Designate a place for compost production

Find a location that is in direct sunlight or partially in shade. It is best to compost directly on grass or ground, but if you have a small area, you can do it on a concrete floor as well. There are several options for arranging a compost site:

  • Make a compost heap. This is the easiest way. Just heap waste in the garden. Place the pile away from home, as the waste can attract mice and insects.
  • Make a compost bin. You can make the box the size you want using old pallets.
  • Purchase a dedicated compost bin. These are sold in most garden and home improvement stores. The boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 13
Manage Your Home Waste Step 13

Step 3. Choose cold or hot method

The cold method is easier, but the compost will take longer to produce. The hot method requires more effort, but the compost will be ready in 6-8 weeks. Below we describe the difference between these methods:

  • To make compost cold method, you will need to fill the bin with green and brown waste a few centimeters. Add food leftovers and toilet paper rolls there. When the drawer is full, leave the waste to decompose. The entire contents of the bin will be compost after almost a year, however, you can use the compost from the bottom as needed.
  • To make compost hot method, mix the green and brown waste thoroughly and fill the drawer completely (or collect a large pile). The waste will heat up. When this happens, stir them and let cool. When they heat up again after a couple of days or weeks, stir them again. Continue repeating this sequence of steps until the waste is no longer heated after mixing, and then leave it to complete the process.
Manage Your Home Waste Step 14
Manage Your Home Waste Step 14

Step 4. Keep track of the compost

If the waste rots too quickly and becomes slimy, add more brown waste to slow it down. If the waste is too dry, add water and green waste. Stir from time to time or whenever you smell ammonia. The more attention you pay to the compost, the faster it will be ready.

Manage Your Home Waste Step 15
Manage Your Home Waste Step 15

Step 5. Use the compost when it's ready

It can take 1–2 months to produce compost. The compost is ready to use when it turns dark brown or black and smells like earth. The resulting compost can be used to fertilize vegetables and fruits, or you can simply spread it over the area to nourish the grass and other plants.

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