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When it comes to reducing household waste, small steps go a long way in making a positive impact on the environment. On this episode of Green Living, host Lauren Singer (@trashisfortossers) shares different ways to reduce the waste in our homes via recycling programs and composting.
In order to live a sustainable life, it’s important to intimately know how much waste you produce so that you can either reduce or eliminate it. When you throw something away, it breaks down using a process called anaerobic digestion, which Singer explains is digestion without the presence of oxygen. This process “releases methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a one hundred year timeframe,” says Singer. Not only that, but waste creates landfills, which leach toxins into the water system. All that is to say, every bit of waste that can be diverted makes a difference.
Learn What Is And What Isn’t Recyclable
Different states and different cities have different guidelines for what residents can and cannot recycle, so do your research. Check your neighborhood’s municipal website to find out what materials are accepted. Also, make sure that you clean and empty all of your recyclable containers so that they actually end up in the recycling and not in a landfill.
For items that aren’t accepted in your curbside recycling bin, they might be eligible for recycling through programs like TerraCycle, a recycling company “whose motto is to recycle everything,” explains Singer.
Make Labels For Your Recycling
To really get in the sustainable spirit of recycling, you can always make fun labels to help you separate your recycling categories. Singer recommends using items you already have at home to make these DIY signs. You could even use trash!
Convert Food Waste Into Compost
“Instead of throwing food into the trash, which results in methane emissions and overfilled landfills, one of my favorite things in the entire world to do is composting,” says Singer. Composting helps restore nutrients back into soil, which makes it healthier. It also helps farmers be less dependent on synthetic fertilizers. To compost at home, Singer recommends using the Package Free Metal Compost Container. “It’s compact and it’s durable, and you don’t have to worry about smells that you might think come from putting your food into a bin,” says the host.
Singer notes that a lot of people are put off by composting because they’re worried about bugs and pests getting into their homes, but the host explains that if you already throw your food in the garbage and you don’t have pests, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re still feeling uneasy, you can always keep your food scraps in the freezer until it’s time to take them to a composting program.
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