As much as we may try, there is no way to completely stop the production of waste. With the fast-paced lifestyle people now must live, the garbage continuously comes rolling in. Fortunately, this has become such a problem that researchers have categorized a process for waste minimization under the waste hierarchy:
The average person can generate over 400 pounds of garbage each and everyday. Considering that’s more than double the weight of most people, this is a real concern. Reducing the amount of trash a person generates is the first step in minimizing waste. If people are conscious of everything they use in a day, such as disposable kitchenware or paper towels, they can make a point to decrease their use of those items in exchange for reusable products, which brings us to step two.
It’s easy to simply throw away a water bottle when it’s empty or to toss a grocery bag in the trash after you’ve put away your food. However, these and many more objects can be used more than once and, in some cases, even for different purposes. Bring your old plastic bags to the market to store your groceries, or buy a durable reusable water bottle rather than buying a new one everyday, which will also save you money.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you must dispose of plastics or paper products, then do so in a responsible manner. These items can be recycled rather than thrown into a landfill and contaminate the environment. With 87% of Americans having access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling services, the brunt of the work to recycle can be taken off of your shoulders.
Once you get into a routine of reducing and recycling, these steps are easy to follow and may even become second nature. It may not seem like much, but every piece of trash you dispose of properly could be a huge step towards environmental conservation.