It is estimated that one person generates 4.5 lbs of garbage a day! Here are 7 easy tips for how to reduce waste in your daily life.
1. Try A Reusable Single Cup Coffee Pod
Every time you make a single cup of coffee you are left with a little plastic pod that ends up in the trash. If you drink two cups a day, that’s 14 pods per week and 728 per year. In 2013, the coffee maker Green Mountain, produced 8.3 billion single brew coffee pods (k-cups)… that’s enough to circle the earth 10.5 times! Try a reusable single brew coffee pod instead. This mini-reusable filter allows you to brew a single cup of coffee without all the waste.
2. Forget the Coffee Sleeve
Another wasteful coffee drinker’s product is the coffee cup sleeve. Though it makes drinking extremely hot coffee more tolerable, it adds to the waste that the coffee cup already produces. It is estimated that 14 billion cups of coffee are served every year with accompanying coffee sleeves. Many of these cups are not recyclable so the attached recyclable sleeve gets thrown in the trash as well. If you can’t go without a coffee sleeve, try a reusable insulated coffee cup.
3. No More Red Solo Cups
Did you know it takes a plastic cup around 80 years to decompose? A minute of clean up for you… over half-a-century of clean up for the planet. There are a ton of alternatives to plastic cups. Consider a reusable water bottle, reusable plastic cup or a mason jar.
4. Plastic Straws Are Major Polluters
Everything tastes better through a straw, but did you know 500 million straws are used in the U.S. everyday?? These plastic straws are big ocean pollutants and are incredibly harmful to marine life who accidentally ingest them. Try glass, stainless steel or metal straws instead.
5. Try Refillable Pens
Everyone has a drawer full of plastic disposable pens. According to the EPA, 1.6 billion disposable pens are thrown out every year. If you can, invest in a pen that can be refilled when the ink runs out.
6. Cut Out Disposable Razors
Disposable razors may be cheap and easy for travel, but we all know how frequently they need to be replaced. Two billion of these shaving tools are dumped in landfills every year! Look for a stainless steel razor that comes with replacement blades. They are a better shave and they last a lot longer!
7. Sticky Notes Without The Paper
Sticky notes are helpful for reminding you of the little things, but they are definitely not helpful to the world’s forests. These tiny little pieces of paper are contributors to large-scale deforestation. We suggest moving reminders to your phone calendar or downloading a “sticky notes” app to your computer.
And since we’re on a roll, here are a few more ideas!
- Compost food scraps and use them to feed your garden soil
- Use cloth grocery bags instead of plastic bags
- Cut out plastic water bottles and carry reusable water bottles
- Recycle, recycle, recycle!
- Write your political leaders. Seattle is one of a growing number of cities with a long-term goal of zero waste. Over the last decade, the city has cut the material it sends to the landfill by 34 percent, even though the population has grown. Three solutions Seattle is using:
- Product bans and fees. Plastic bags used at checkout counters and styrofoam food containers are two items that have been banned.
- Takeback programs. These programs require companies to take responsibility for worn-out products. Seattle and other cities, along with some states, are demanding producer responsibility for a growing list of products, including electronics, paint, batteries, carpets, and fluorescent lights.
- Promoting composting. Seattle and other cities now require that to-go food containers be compostable. Some, including Seattle, make composting food and yard waste easy by providing curbside pickup.
If we all make a commitment to make small changes to live a less wasteful life, we will leave the world a better place for generations to come. If you have any additional helpful tips, please feel free to contact us at www.southboundgroup.com.