Our family took the plunge to Zero Waste one year ago. I took the advice of a friend and made a huge effort to reduce my consumption, as well as my output of trash. The first step I took was to call my public utility company and request a downsizing of our trash service. I went from a weekly pickup of a medium can of trash to a mini-can (1/2 of a small can). Now I was forced to reduce my trash load.
The next step in going zero waste was to find new ways to repurpose large items I would normally throw away. I became a regular at the local thrift charity where I made several small donations a year. Holding couple of neighborhood garage sales gave me a little change in my pocket, but a lot of friends–I gave away many items for free if they were going to a home that would use them.
Step three was to do my research. I contacted my trash service and found out that many items I used to throw away could in fact be recycled or composted. In my area, paper milk cartons were composted–who knew? And paint cans could be recycled if the paint in them was completely dry.
Finally, I made a special effort to choose food with less packaging (or at least packaging that I know could be recycled). No more styrofoam trays. I instead chose to order meat at the butcher counter.
As I learn more about Zero Waste, I continue to change my habits. For me, it is not one of those fads that I have tried and given up on. It has become part of my way of living.
Here’s a pinup infographic for your fridge. Check with your city to find out if the rules are the same. If your city does not have a compost and recycling program, now is the time to send an email to your leaders. The zero waste movement is growing every day.
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