How to Manage Household Waste

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The lack of waste management is having a negative impact on the environment. Trees are being cut down unnecessarily, animals are being slaughtered for food which often lies unpurchased in overstocked grocery stores, and natural reserves of oil are being depleted to create plastic containers and bags. Solving this problem must begin at home -- we must learn how to be less wasteful and more resourceful.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth shopping bags
  • Water filter
  • Repair (or hire someone to repair) items you would normally throw away. Items like televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners, radios, and other appliances are expensive to dispose of and difficult to recycle, but you can attempt to have them repaired or mended and save both the environment and your pocket the cost of replacement. If the items are irreparable, contact the manufacturer and ask what type of recycling programs are available. Often, appliance or energy companies will pick up discarded electrical items at no charge, or perhaps your waste hauler or another organization will collect them. Purchase new models of appliances that are energy-efficient.

  • Be an environmentally conscious shopper. Only buy items you need (not everything you want), and purchase items with as little packaging as possible. Take your own cloth bags when shopping, to slow the consumption of natural resources with the use of paper and plastic bags. If you forget to take your own bags, make sure to use the bags you bring home your purchases in. Use them for trash bags or storage.

  • Stop shopping in bulk at the grocery store. Only buy what you need. That way you'll be sure to consume everything you've bought before its expiration date. Only cook what you need as well. If you cook too much, find creative ways to eat your leftovers. If you don't want your leftovers, donate the excess portions of your meals to homeless shelters.

  • Purchase a water filter instead of buying bottled water. This will eliminate tons of plastic wasted each year in discarded water bottles.

  • Recycle. Separate your household waste into three categories: papers, organic waste and recyclable materials, such as plastics with the recyclable symbol, cardboard, glass, paper board, aluminum foil and steel. Use the organic waste for composting, and set the recyclable materials outside on trash day. If your neighborhood trash hauler doesn't pick up recyclable materials, transport them yourself to the nearest recycling center.

  • Eliminate junk mail and other paper publications. If you're receiving magazines you don't subscribed to, request to be taken off the mailing list. If the mail still doesn't stop, simply write "Return To Sender" and leave it for the postal carrier to pick up. For newspapers and magazines you actually subscribe to, ask yourself if you read every single issue that comes to your home. If you don't, cancel your subscription and buy the publication at the newsstand only when you are truly interested in the articles. Or, locate the publication's website and catch up on your reading online.

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References

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