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Tips for Reducing Household Waste

Azmin Taraporewala
While charity begins at home, making a bee-line for waste reduction at the doorstep, too, is a proposition second to none. An overwhelming trash bin may be dropped by the wayside, provided some practices are followed. Here are some ways to help you reduce household waste production. ...
The crux of recycling conceptualizes re-usability and re-creation of waste matter. We have observed a train of decades beating their wings in muck and misery. However, what escapes the mind time and again is that recycling is important, but reduction is the primal step.
Reduction of waste precedes recycling waste. Your trash bin ought to be dominant in an endeavor to reduce waste. When we talk reduction, we mean gouging out the trouble from the root. Taking control of the ever-rising garbage bin ought to be your onus hereafter.

Potent Ways to Reduce Household Trash

"Apres moi le deluge." ... Heard of this one? It is a French proverb that literally means 'After me, the floods.' When reduce, recycle and the likes of such terms are discussed, we apply this philosophy.
We tend to act insentient toward the future. "Resources would last as far as we exist. We are far from going empty-handed." Ah! What naivety! To gatecrash the illusory world that people reside in, here are a few macabre facts to lead the way.
  • According to the Clean Air Council, Americans dispose 1 billion shopping bags contributing to a whopping 300,000 tons of waste matter.
  • (Un)common Knowledge: Plastic bags are bound to degrade, thanks to solar power. However, it takes 300 to 500 years for the bag to 'photodegrade'. ... Shocked! There is more to chew over.
  • U.S. Environmental Agencies conclude that working professionals use an estimated "two pounds of paper and paperboard products every day."
If these facts have dinned you into a pensive mode, then here are some useful tips to help you not just manage, but micromanage your household waste.

Ban the Plastic Bam

Make an attempt to carry a fabric bag whenever you are out for shopping. Whether it is grocery, apparel, or the monthly first-aid quota, your fabric carrier must accompany you.
It should be a second skin to you. Don't ask for a plastic bag when you are at the billing counter. If at all you have left your bag at home, abstain from buying the products you have picked by the aisle.
Yes, prefer to put them back to where they originally belonged. Well, some may find this proposition lunatic, but trust me, this works, especially for those who love shelling out excuses. Besides, excuses won't do much, except making you feel a wee less guilty.

Hunt Down the Hoarder in You

Buy what you need and not what you please. Question yourself, 'Do I really need this?' and not, 'Do I really want this?' You may want something, but you may not need it, get the drift! Bulking up stuff -- even if that means avant-garde fashion -- is never a good idea. Besides, fashion may go fab to flub in a wink.
If you have enough clothes that, well, may suffice for six months, (it's a fat chance for shopaholics!) try to curb the temptation. Products -- especially those that have a short shelf span -- must not be stocked. You might end up wasting the product and a few crisp notes, too!

Bill the Paper Bill

If paper is what your household would like to reduce, go in for e-Billing. It is faster, convenient and most importantly, proposes no wastage. Switch to itemized billing, browse through brochures, catalogs, and news reports online.
This serves to be the best bet when looking out to reduce paper usage; however, recycling paper is all together another ball game. One very effective remedy is to make sturdy paper bags. You may take them out while shopping for your essentials.
Wrapping gifts with leftover paper adds an offbeat persona to the package. And here's another one: While getting your child to practice origami, make use of old papers. This form of working would prove to be a warm-up of sorts for your child, before he starts maneuvering with the construction/craft paper.

Compose a Compost Bin

A homespun compost bin may well serve as an acting fertilizer for your plants.
Vegetable waste, yard waste, chicken bones, animal excreta, rags topped with a spread of garden soil and some tepid water would ready your compost bin. This method is perhaps the most efficacious way to cut the (s)crap!

Let Quality Matter

Get hold of products that have enviable quality and longevity. If the essentials you buy are reputed, the bug to replace the item wouldn't bite you. Instead of subjecting your product for a recycle camp, you inadvertently reduce wastage of resources, thereby postponing premature disposal of products.

Art of Defenestration

Sentiments are a major culprit when it comes to the dreaded buildup. We call it willful trash building. The so-called "keepsakes" encroach a major chunk of our closet. Parting with them may weigh you down for a few days, but you sure are doing a good turn to the environment. Your closet would thank you for letting it breathe after years of relic throes!

Pay Attention to Packaging

When you are out purchasing skincare lotions and serums, pay careful attention to the extent of packaging involved. Well, this may seem trivial to you; however, analyzing the products 'vital statistics' pays in the long run.
Try to buy products that have a recyclable item involved. A glass jar instead of a plastic container, or products that encourage minimal packaging may serve your purpose and save the environment from going asinine with waste.

Scope of an Envelope

Old envelopes or paper folders may be stored for future use, provided you exercise caution while opening the envelope. Be gentle while you handle such fragile paraphernalia, for it must remain intact for a reuse.
So, don't follow the bandwagon, but be the wagon of change to tackle the situation. If you adhere to even a few tips aforementioned, you sure deserve accolades. Don't forget that this is just the beginning. If you have some of your copyrighted ways to cutthroat household waste, go ahead, tell us all about it! Till then, waive waste with a wave of knowledge!