According to DLCSRecycling, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage in their lifetime. Take a minute and think about what you throw away that could potentially be leaving 90,000 pounds of trash behind for your children. My family tries to eliminate post-consumer trash by reducing the amount that we purchase in stores, reusing "previously-owned" goods, and recycling. A staggering 84% of typical household waste -- food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans and bottles -- can be recycled. Here's what our family does:
Buy and sell second-hand.
What may be used to you is new to someone else. Consider exchanging those too-good-to-throw-away books, toys, clothing and household items with friends, consignment shops or on one of the many on-line yardsale sites that Fredericksburg has to offer.
Plant a garden.
Having a home garden can reduce the amount of post-consumer packaging that is brought home. My family has even gone a step further and cans our harvest; making salsa, jams and pickles. We also reuse canning jars annually. We recycle our meal and garden scraps into a compost to make our own organic soil. We use reusable bags, shop at farmers' markets and participate in a CSA.
Go green at mealtime.
I make snacks and lunches fun for my 3-year-old son and reduce post-consumer trash by placing his food in reusable food sacks and/or bento boxes. I skip the drive-thru and takeout. Those individual serving sizes may be cute and convenient, but they can add up at the cash register. Plus, all that extra packaging is adding to our landfills. I buy in bulk and create my own snack packs, reducing costs and eliminating even more post-consumer trash.
By making these 3 simple changes, I've significantly reduced our family's footprint. Remember the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Nikki Ducas is an environmentally-friendly mom who follows these simple tips to ensure a better tomorrow for her 3-year-old son.