Choosing to reduce your waste doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul. With a few simple steps you will start seeing your mound of garbage dwindle.

Recycle

Everyone knows that recycling can help reduce some of your waste. However, did you know that over 50% off all garbage can be recycled? In a year, that can be equal to a FOOTBALL field worth of garbage for one family! So wouldn’t you like to remove a football field sized amount of garbage from your weekly curbside load? Simply take four grocery bags and label them- Paper, Plastic, Cans, and Glass. Once they are full you can drop them off to your local recycling facility. This can be a great learning opportunity for your children as well. Many recycling facilities will even take your little family on a tour. You may want to call your local waste control company to see if they have curbside pickup for your recyclable items.

Reduce

Reducing your waste is also key. Whenever possible use reusable items. Instead of picking up those one-time use items such as paper plates, disposable utensils, and Ziploc baggies, try out their reusable counterparts. Look for washable plastic dinnerware and utensils. These can easily be found at your local grocer now! Instead of using the plastic wrap and plastic baggies look into purchasing a few reusable sandwich wraps and snack bags. These can also save you some money.

Reuse

Reusing items can come in many forms. If you decide to opt for the disposable baggies over the reusable kind, try washing them out a couple times and reusing them as many times as possible. Reusing can also mean re-purposing. For example, milk jugs have many other uses beyond delivering your milk to you. Once the jugs are empty you can fill them with filtered water for an emergency water stash, or you can cut off the tops and use them as pet food scoops. Old mustard or ketchup bottles can be washed and used to store your homemade sauces in. For lots of great re-purposing tips check out Recycling Revolution (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/reuse-trash-ideas.html).

Re-purposing can also take the form of children’s crafts. Keep a small tub with those little extras that could be used for craft making in the future. Old buttons, pieces of fabric, cans, newspapers, ect can be stored for a fun craft project.

Try some of these tips and see if your garbage pile gets a little smaller! What types of items do you re-purpose at your house?