STATEPOINT -- Americans generate a lot of garbage; and while recycling is on the rise, most families can do more to reduce the waste they create.
This Earth Day, which occurs Sunday, is a great time to adopt greener habits. Some simple organizational tips can help you get started.
The best way to cut down on the garbage you create is to never generate the waste in the first place. Start by organizing your finances online. Electronic bank statements and bills payments are a fast, secure and earth-friendly alternative to paper statements.
Consider putting a stop to catalogs and junk mail. Most companies allow you to order straight from their websites. Not only will you be eliminating paper waste, you’ll be reducing the amount of energy needed for mail delivery.
Pack smart lunches
Recent research by American Dietetic Association shows 83 percent of working Americans typically eat in and around their work spaces. But if you’re transporting your food in single-use bags or wrapping paper, your midday meal is creating more waste than necessary. Make going green convenient by opting for reusable containers that efficiently use the space in your lunch box or bag.
Clean your closets
Organizing your storage spaces can be an enlightening experience, especially if you haven’t done so in a long time. Not only are you likely to discover you have a lot of stuff you don’t need, you’ll also learn you have a lot of stuff you don’t want.
Instead of tossing your duds in the landfill, sort out what is usable and donate those clothes, toys, books and knick knacks that you’ve outgrown to a secondhand store or charity. This exercise will encourage you to be more mindful when making questionable purchases in the future. Remember, today’s impulse buy is tomorrow’s garbage.
Clearly marking your recycling bins will encourage members of your household, as well as guests to recycle. Consider adding a recycling bin to every level of your home, so there will be no excuses to throw recyclables into garbage cans. Post information about what can be recycled in a central location, like your refrigerator.
Doing your part for the planet starts at home. By getting organized this Earth Day, you can reduce your contribution to your local landfill.