Trash Reduction

little girl with recycling binLiving by the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) reduces our need for new sources of plastic, paper, metals, and other finite resources. It also cuts down on the amount of garbage that needs to be sent to landfills. Reducing trash can save you money (on new products and trash pickup) and eases strain on our ecosystems.

 For my EcoChallenge action(s), I will:

  • Bring my own reusable mug every time I’m on the go.
  • Bring my own bags every time I shop.
  • Refrain from buying bottled water/juices/soda; instead use a reusable mug or thermos.
  • Make sure that my office has reusable cups/mugs/plates and silverware to minimize disposables
  • Buy nothing for one week.
  • Start composting to reduce trash.
  • Start a worm bin for composting.
  • Save all my trash – problem solve how it could be further reduced.
  • Set up a recycling center at work if there isn’t one already in place
  • Reuse office supplies, like binders, folders, rubber bands, etc. Send inner-office mail in reused envelopes
  • Buy  foods that are available in bulk from the bulk bins, reusing packaging brought from home.
  • Buy used whenever possible (from garage sales, Craigslist, Freecycle, secondhand stores, community list serves, etc.)
  • Buy milk in glass bottles that can be washed and returned for reuse (lucky us to have that option!)
  • Buy durable, high-quality products, and maintain/repair instead of replacing
  • Reuse paper and print on both sides
  • Take action to reduce the amount of unwanted mail I receive.
  • Dine-in rather than getting take-out food, which generally requires excessive packaging
  • Other challenge (of my choosing)


 Facts and Stats on Waste:

  • The average American generates 4.6 pounds of trash a day.
  • Americans make up 5 % of the world’s population and generate 40% of the world’s waste.
  • 1/3 of the waste generated in the US is packaging.