Contractor Quotes BG

+180 Ways to Reduce Waste at Home, School and at the Office

According to the NRDC, or the Natural Resources Defense Council, about 40 percent of Americans would throw their food away each year, whether they are eating at home or at a restaurant. This figure is tantamount to about $165 billion of wasted food every year. So here’s a comprehensive article about reducing waste and saving money at the same time.

Benefits of Reducing Waste

waste disposal site

Reducing waste can actually benefit us in so many ways. It will not only benefit the environment, but also the financial and social aspect in your home and in the entire community too. Here are some ways on how reducing waste can benefit us environmentally, financially and socially.

Environment:

  • It helps to conserve space in the existing landfills, thereby reducing the need to create future landfills.
  • Minimize pollution and conserves energy that is associated with the manufacturing of new materials.
  • When it comes to destructive demolition, it also reduces other impacts in the surrounding streets and properties, most especially the traffic, dust and noise.

Financial:

  • When it comes to construction, reducing waste could mean more efficient use of products that also means reduction of costs associated with buying new materials.
  • Improvement of work efficiencies by means of accurate detailed design, temporary works and more focus on minimizing rework.
  • Minimize the cost of waste disposal.
  • For demolition, reducing waste means earning revenue out of the salvaged building parts as well as recycled materials.
  • Improve staff productivity.

Social:

  • Minimize the impact of nuisance or hazardous waste in the community through sound management.
  • Innovation and challenges could help in attracting and retaining employees who are interested in developing their skills.
  • High level of client satisfaction that could help to enhance the image of your company and encourage more business deals.
  • Improve the safety in the site by means of better management of waste disposal.

Facts about Reducing Waste

These days, it seems like each time you turn the TV on, you will hear news stories about local landfills reaching its capacity and that the local government has been constantly pushing for an addition of a new dumping area.

Unfortunately, landfills are now reaching capacity, which leaves various cities and towns having to find new ways on how to deal with the increasing waste problem. While you might not be able to solve the trash problem yourself, even the smallest things that you do will surely be a big help. Here are some of the shocking facts about waste management that should inspire you to do your part in reducing waste now.

  • Reports have shown that the USA produces up to 400 million tons of trash every year and all of these will require a space at a landfill.
  • About 53.4 percent of paper products are being recycled in the United States, which is already a huge improvement in the previous years, yet, there is still a big room for improvement.
  • An average office employee makes use of more than 500 paper cups every year.  Just think about the impact if you will reduce this only by half.
  • The amount of waste that’s being generated in the United States has already tripled since the year 1960.
The amount of waste that's being generated in the United States has already tripled since the… Click To Tweet
  • The US has the highest number of waste generated by a person of other countries, which is an average of 4.6 pounds each day.
  • Only about 1/10 of all solid garbage in the US is being recycled every year.
  • Despite of the seemingly low rate, such figure is still an increase of about a hundred percent in the last decade.
  • Every year, there are about 100.2 billion of plastic bags that are being used by the Americans.
  • There is a Pacific Island at the Pacific Ocean that is twice the size of Texas, and is created for the main purpose of dumping the waste being thrown into the ocean.
  • About 36 percent of the trash that is being thrown away in the United States every year is cardboard or paper and much of these are recyclable.
  • The US has more than 3,000 active landfills and about 10,000 of old landfills. All these produce hazardous gas that could put danger on the groundwater.
  • Aluminum can be possibly recycled several times without loosing its quality, however only a small fraction of the cans are being recycled.
  • When Ireland decided to enact a charge of 15 cents per bag, consumers have consumed about 90 percent less bags.
  • Every day, people living in the US throw as much trash, enough to fill about 63,000 of garbage trucks.
  • The average American will throw about 1,200 pounds of waste each year and this could be composted and kept out the landfill.
  • Although recycling is fast increasing every year, and so as consumption, reducing the consumption while increasing recycling is the best way to reduce the usage of landfill.
  • Every ton of paper recycled could save about three cubic yards of the entire landfill space.
  • During those times between the Thanksgiving and New Year, extra million tons of waste is being produced every week.
  • There are about 38 million miles of ribbon that are being placed into landfills every year. This is enough to tie down a bow all over Earth.
  • Plastic bottles that are being put into landfill could take several thousands of years to get decomposed because they are often shielded away from sunlight.

Indeed, the facts stated above can be a bit scary. However, this is an area where everyone can actually do their part and make a difference. The facts above have revealed lots of important information that everyone should be aware of.

Reduce Waste By Recycling

plastic bottle being recycled

One of the best ways to reduce waste is through recycling. Recycling will require processing used materials to new products in order to minimize the waste of potentially useful materials, reduce energy use, lower the consumption of raw materials and reduce water pollution by minimizing the need to use conventional waste disposal. As a result, this lowers the emission of greenhouse gases as compared to virgin production.

You can start recycling today with this extensive guide.

Biggest Sources of Waste at Home

Knowing the biggest sources of wasted at home will not only help you in saving money, but you also help to save the environment as well.

  • Wasting both energy and time when using the fridge – it’s been said that people tend to spend about 10 hours each year simply staring in front an open fridge.
  • Buying incandescent bulbs – LEDs could save you as much as $135 over its lifetime use.
Buying incandescent bulbs - LEDs could save you as much as $135 over its lifetime use. Click To Tweet
  • Falling asleep while the TV is on – it costs you $55 on energy cost each year.
  • Keeping laptop and mobile phone plugged in for long – remember that once your laptop or mobile phone is fully charged, yet you still leave it plugged, you are actually wasting energy in the process.
  • Not programming the programmable thermostat – if you forget to program your programmable thermostat, you will end up wasting as much as $180 each year.
  • Baking on summer afternoons – if you do this, your AC will break a sweat just to keep your home to stay cool.
  • Leaving fans turned on in an empty and unused room – remember that fans are used for cooling people and not things or rooms.
  • Forget to change air filters – just think of the dust you end up inhaling if you do this, not to mention the energy you will end up wasting.
  • Leaving the lights turned on when exiting the room – lights are as easy to turn off as you turn them on so do not ever forget to do this very simple step.

Types of Solid Waste

Below are the different sources of solid waste, the waste generators and the different types.

table explaining the different types of waste
Picture from MIT.edu

 

How To Reduce Food Waste In Restaurants

Reducing waste in your restaurant business makes a lot of sense. So after you have conducted a waste audit and realized the amount of trash you get to accumulate everyday, you may want to consider these tips on how you can reduce your waste.

  • Consider changing your menu – after you have identified those menu items that usually have the most leftovers, you may need to consider reducing the service size of such items. This way, not only will you be reducing the quantity of waste in your restaurant, but you also get to minimize the amount of money you spend on cooking food, thereby increasing your profit.
  • Purchase wisely – if there are several ingredients that usually go to waste simply because you cannot use it before it will expire, then consider buying them in smaller quantities the next time.
  • Educate your employees – you should provide your staff with some practical training on the rules of movement in your bar and kitchen. Each of your staff should be familiar with the rules, especially when they are preparing drinks or meals at the bar or kitchen. For instance, those who are assigned at the bar should learn how to move circularly and respect the sequence of actions happening in the bar so as to avoid unnecessary bumping that could lead to frequent drink spillage and poor service.
  • Invest on high quality kitchen equipment – you should purchase equipment that your staff can use in preparing and processing foods. You can perhaps get them some specialized knives in peeling fruits and vegetables. Or better yet, use knives that are ideal for cutting and filleting meat or fish. All these small differences on the quantity of food waste will have a huge impact in the long run in terms of reducing waste in your restaurant and increasing your profit as well.
  • Change your plates – usually, nutritionists would advise those who are trying to lose weight to reduce their food portions in such a way that they will minimize the use of plates. Thus, invest on a new set of dinner plates and glasses that has a smaller volume and will reduce serving portions as well.
  • Store all vegetables and fruits properly – with proper storage of your vegetables and fruits, you end up extending their lifespan. Proper storage includes cleaning them well before storing in suitable containers and in appropriate places, along with obligatory labels to identify their date of storage.
  • Rotate the food in your warehouse and fridge – set the foods that must be used first right at the front.  A more convenient way of storing food in the fridge is to follow the “right to left” rule. This means that new foods must always be stored at the right side while the existing food must be moved further into the left. When you take the food to be cooled, you will have to do the reverse order, which is from the left to the right. This way, your food will always stay fresh and most importantly, you will reduce the amount of food waste.
  • Conduct inventory in a regular basis – you can make use of a restaurant software that has the ability to work on various warehouses, where you can conduct an inventory easily and create warehouse from where the goods have to be spent, you could conduct your inventory fast and easy.
  • Conducting an inventory in a regular basis will allow you to have insight into the goods consumed daily and identify accordingly the need to purchase new ingredients at a proper time, not too late or not too soon.  Moreover, the restaurant software will also give you the ability to do a correction of your stocks and record expenses in the event where the goods need to be disposed as waste because of expiration date, improper usage, etc.

Construction Waste

According to experts, about eight thousand pounds worth of construction materials go to waste each year. And with the cost of landfilling increasing, your construction waste will also signify a financial loss. You might not be a large manufacturer of construction materials, but you will also end up benefiting in a smaller way if you apply these tips on how to reduce construction waste.

  • Come up with a design that makes use of the most advanced framing techniques – it is highly recommended for remodelers to plan the ceiling heights, rooms, and roof sizes by two foot increments so as to avoid having off size castoffs and construction pieces. Use standard lengths for pipes, ducts, wiring and siding.  Although this can be easily possible on a brand new space, the advance framing techniques, like floor joists, wall studs and roof rafters can be possibly spaced up to 24 inches, making you to efficiently use the materials.
  • Reuse materials creatively – if you do end up overbuying, consider reusing the materials creatively. Perhaps, you can salvage extra items and use them on places that no one else would have expected. Perhaps you can use the extra vinyl sheeting as pond liners or boat bumpers. Repurposing does not necessary mean looking for an oddball use of your construction leftovers. You can help cut back on waste by reusing the materials when your project will allow, such as drywall pieces for holes and small patches, etc.
  • Hire construction recycling services – these services rescue hundreds of construction materials each year. Some of these companies might even provide sorting receptacles that you can use onsite, and may offer free hauling for the bigger items. There are also reuse stores operated by the Habitat for Humanity that will be happy to accept donations of extra construction materials, such as cabinets, sinks, counters, etc.
  • Sort out salvage materials onsite – in order to save time on your hauling service, some construction companies will ask at a bare minimum, to sort out debris to wood only or metal only piles before they will come to pick these up, which means that you will need to assign a location at the construction site for them to be able to do these stuff.

Environmental Impact of Reducing Waste

landfill

Waste disposal has a huge impact in the environment and could lead to serious problems. For instance, in the UK, a lot of waste is buried on landfill sites, such as at the holes in the ground or at old quarries. Eventually, this will rot, although not all of them. In the process, they will generate methane gas that is explosive and will lead to greenhouse effect. The leachate that’s produced, as the waste will decompose, may also lead to pollution. Landfill sites that are badly damaged could attract vermin and will cause litter as well.

Incinerating waste materials will also lead to problems since plastics have the tendency to produce toxic substances, like dioxins, once they are burnt. The gases from incineration will lead to air pollution and contribute to acid rain. However, the ashes from the incinerators may have heavy metals as well as other toxins in them as well. Because of these issues, there have been lots of active campaigns that oppose the incineration. For instance, Greenpeace has worked actively on these issues and information about the location of waste incineration can in fact be found at their website.

Throwing away things generate so much waste. For one, it wastes the energy and the raw materials that are being used in producing these items, which also wastes money. Reducing waste could mean less impact on the environment and less energy and resources used.

At Work

From the everyday smog to the increasing threat of global warming, it just makes a lot of sense on why we should clean up now and do our part in reducing waste, especially in our workplace. Here are some tips on how you can reduce waste at work.

  • Use both sides of the paper – when it comes to producing copies, you should set your machine to be used in both sides of the paper in order to cut your paper consumption in half.
  • Shred off and reuse papers – instead of throwing old documents away, shred them off and reuse them in other means, such as a packing material for shipments.
  • Reuse boxes – once you receive your shipments in, save the boxes so you can use them again for sending shipments out.
  • Recycle paper – you may want to place a paper recycling receptacle right next to the copier, fax machine or printer. That way, every employee will be able to deposit unwanted paper at the recycling receptacle.
  • Avoid color printing if possible – color printing will require using more ink. Therefore, consider printing in black and white as much as you can.
  • Print in draft mode – in order to conserve more ink, set your printer in draft mode when printing. This will generally lighten up the shade, yet you can still read the copy well.
  • Purchase paper wisely – you should have an office policy to only purchase those papers that are chlorine-free and have higher percentage of recycled content.
  • Consider using alternative paper – purchase paper that is made from organic cotton, bamboo or hemp.
  • Purchase recycled ink and toner – cartridges will only contribute plastic and metal to landfills, however buying ink and toner that’s refilled can help to prevent this environmental burden.
  • Encourage your colleagues or employees to walk or ride bike – if you own the company, then make it an easier option for your employee to walk or bike to work by offering private changing areas and showers at the office.

Food

food waste

We as individuals can make some small changes that can make a huge difference in the amount of food that goes to waste every year. Here are some tips on how you can minimize food waste.

  • Shop smart – you should plan meals accordingly, prepare grocery lists and avoid impulse buying. By doing so, you are less likely to purchase things that you do not need and that you are unlikely to actually consume.
  • Purchase exactly what you need – for instance, if a recipe will call for two pieces of carrots, you do not need to purchase an entire bag. Instead, purchase loose produce so you can minimize food wastage.
  • Be realistic – if you are living alone, then you do not need so many apples in the same way that a family of four would. If you rarely cook your own food, then there is no need to stock up on so many goods.
  • Purchase funny looking produce – a lot of fruits and veggies are being thrown away simply because of its shape, size or colors that do not quite match with what we think these things should look like. However, for the most part, these items are actually good to eat and getting them from your local farmer’s market helps you in using up food that will otherwise be thrown away.
  • Apply FIFO – this means First In, First Out. When it comes to unpacking groceries, consider moving older products at the front of your fridge and then place new products at the back. By doing so, you are more likely to be using up the older stuff first.
  • Monitor the food you throw away – allocate a day in a week where you just write down all the food that you throw away in a regular basis.
  • Take a stock – take note of the expiration dates of all the food you have in store at home and plan meals accordingly.
  • Designate one dinner every week – instead of preparing new meals, look at the fridge and cupboards for any leftovers.
  • Eat leftovers – store the leftovers in a brown bag and carry them with you at work or pack for kids for school.
  • Use all foods you have – when cooking and preparing meals, use every piece of food that you are cooking with, if possible.
  • Store food better – if you throw away stale foods regularly, try to store them on airtight containers to keep them stay longer.
  • Repurpose all leftover scraps – use meat and vegetable scraps as homemade stocks, perhaps, you can use rinds of citrus fruits to add zest or flavor to your other meals.
  • Check your fridge regularly – check your fridge to ensure that it is working well and functioning at its maximum efficiency.
  • Preserve produce – produce does not need to be tossed out just because they will almost expire. You can use them for smoothies, soups, cakes, etc.
  • Donate what you will not use – if you no longer have plans to eat those cans of beans then consider donating them.
  • Donate all the gross stuff – a lot of farmers will happily accept any food scraps, which they can use to feed pigs, poultry, or perhaps, add to a compost heap.
  • Store food properly – to keep the food from going bad, make sure to store them properly inside the fridge.
  • Store food that needs to be frozen in the freezer – sometimes, the reason why food gets spoilt easily is because we don’t store them in the freezer when we should.
  • Canned foods – if you got more fruits and you don’t know what to do with them, consider canning the food.
  • Pickle the produce – both the veggies and fruits can be easily preserved through the pickling process.
  • Understand the expiration date – just because the food has reached its expiration date does not mean it’s no longer safe to eat.
  • Compost – if you got potato skins, then consider turning these wilted vegetables into a soup stock. Or better yet, use them for compost.
  • Check with your belly – take a moment to ask your body what it really wants to eat and how much and then serve yourself only that.
  • Split the dish – when eating out, split the dish with your friend so you will not end up wasting huge portions of food.
  • Take home any leftovers – even if you are not into splitting foods, these portion sizes do not need to be wasted.
  • Share – if you end up preparing a quadruple recipe of casserole that you end up not liking, consider giving them to friends, neighbors and family
  • Go tray-less – if eating at a cafeteria, consider going tray-less. Going tray-less is associated with reducing food waste.
  • Educate people in your household – encourage everyone to follow your ways in reducing food waste.

Care, Use and Disposal of Batteries

batteries

Batteries are considered an important and reliable source of portable power. In order to ensure that you will get the most out of your batteries, here are some tips on how to care, use and dispose your batteries properly.

  • Use the proper size and type of battery for your specific device.
  • Store the batteries in their original packaging and in a dry place with normal room temperature until such time that you are ready to use them.
  • Replace all of the used batteries at the same time. Insert them at the device properly, where plus and minus signs are aligned properly.
  • Keep all of the batteries in a secure and safe place, far from the children and pet’s reach, most particularly small sized batteries.
  • Whenever possible, recycle the batteries through the recycling and collection programs organized by local communities.
  • Remove the batteries from the device or equipment while the AC current is powering it.
  • Never leave the batteries inside your device if you know that you will not be using the device for a long time.
  • Do not carry loose batteries in your purse or pocket as this could lead to safety risk.
  • Do not mix new and old batteries, batteries of different types and brands in one device as this could make the batteries leak.
  • Avoid recharging the non-rechargeable batteries as this can make your batteries to leak or overheat.
  • Never place the batteries in a fridge – doing this will not recharge your batteries or increase its storage life.
  • Do not dispose large quantity of batteries at the same time. Although there are recycling and collection programs in your area, consider storing the used batteries in a non-metal container first and keep it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not place batteries and battery-powered devices on warm areas since extreme temperature could affect its performance.

Waste During the Holidays

hot chocolate

Holidays tend to be the busiest time of the year. Everywhere you look, you will find so many people busy with shopping for holiday presents, groceries to cook delicious meals, and many more. Thus, it is pretty understandable why a lot of waste get accumulated during this time of the year. So here are some tips on how you can reduce waste during the holiday season.

  • Suggest doing a Kris Kringle – doing these can somehow help to minimize the number of people who will buy presents, thereby minimizing waste.
  • Consider giving out homemade gifts, such as cake, chutneys, face oil, body scrubs, etc.
  • Re-gift some items. Check your cabinets, jewelry box and cupboard and see if there are any gift items there that you might want to recycle.
  • Before buying any gift, ask yourself several times if the person you are giving the gift to will need them or if they will find the gift useful.
  • Choose experience over things. Instead of buying stuff as presents, consider giving concert tickets, movies, etc.
  • Give a gift of plants, such as herbs, vegetables, etc.
  • Give a donation to the charity on behalf of the person you are giving the gift to.
  • Wrap your gifts without using any plastic.
  • Upcycle the old sheets into clothing bags that you can also use for other things, such as shopping, buying bulk food and more.
  • Use toilet paper rolls in making present labels.
  • Eat all frozen foods before Christmas. That way, the freezer will be emptied and ready to accommodate any leftovers.
  • Begin composting. There will for sure be plenty of cooking and eating to do over the holiday. Compositing is a great way to reduce the waste being sent to landfills.
  • Store all leftovers in jars, containers and beeswax wraps. Ditch the cling wrap.
  • Check what food scraps you can keep that you can turn to broth or stock.
  • Create your own Christmas decors and ornaments. Check with local shops or buy locally made ornaments.

Food Waste In Schools

Below are simple solutions on how to reduce food waste in school, right before it happens. These tips will also teach you how to recover foods that are about to go to trash and how to recycle food waste that will otherwise go in the landfill.

  • Discuss with your students on what needs to be improved and encourage them to sample new food items that you wanted to offer.
  • Take pride in the work that you as well as your staff are doing in the school kitchen. Promote your menu items at the school’s website and social network sites in order to encourage the students and the parents to check out what you’re offering.
  • When buying fresh produce, order them in short intervals and refer to the Food Buying Guide in order to determine the quantity you should ideally order.
  • Refer to the Cycle Menus for better predictability when ordering food.
  • Store, cook and cool food at the proper temperature with the help of the food code guidelines.
  • Store fresh produce on airtight containers in order to extend the life of the food product. Make sure to label them so the oldest will be used first.
  • Set up a share table that will encourage kids to place packed and pre-portioned items that they will not consume in order to be given as donations.
  • Reach out to the non-profit organizations that can help schools in navigating through the logistics of donating leftover food items.
  • Compost food waste for the school gardens.
  • Work with your local farmers in composting the food scraps.
Tip for reducing waste: Work with your local farmers in composting the food scraps. Click To Tweet
  • Use separate trash bins for food donations, recycling, trash and compost.

Hotel Waste

hotel room

Hotels tend to accumulate a lot of trash and waste because of the nature of their business. Thus, if you are in the hotel industry business, then it makes a lot of sense why you should learn some ways on how you can minimize or reduce waste.

  • Keep all the staff members informed regarding the best recycling programs that you can implement for everyone to follow. Issue memos and review the recycling procedures regularly.
  • Monitor the recycling efforts of your company in a regular basis to ensure that proper recycle routines have been followed and continue to educate the staff members as necessary.
  • Track the volume and the type of recyclables in your recycling facility in a regular basis. Not only will this serve as check and balance for the compensation you will receive but this will also prompt you if there are any sudden changes on the data.
  • Every time you hire a new employee, provide recycling information packet that will serve as their guide and take time to orient them for all your waste processing routine.
  • As soon as policies are implemented, continue to refine the processes and routines by asking for feedback from your staff, most especially the team that is most involved in the waste recycling processes.
  • Perform an easy waste review. Take time to walk through your hotel and take note of all the waste that are often being discarded in every area. This can help you to determine on the type of containers that you will need for the trash.
  • Based on the results of your assessment, set up an appropriate recycling program for all areas in the hotel.
  • Moreover, make sure that all of the receptacles and bins are marked well for all your staff and guests to use.
  • Emphasize those areas that are critical to separate certain waste from each other.

At Home

You may not know this, but there are actually so many ways on how you can reduce waste in your home. Here are some of them.

  • Use cloth diaper for your baby.
  • Purchase in bulk as much as possible.
  • When you shop, consider the packaging and purchase only products that have minimal and recyclable packaging.
  • Compost all your kitchen scraps.
  • Use reusable feminine products instead of sanitary napkins.
  • Go paperless in your kitchen.
  • Avoid eating packaged ones and go for whole foods instead.
  • Create your own cleaning supplies or choose the ones that are highly concentrated.
  • Always use produce bags and reusable shopping bags when buying stuff.
  • Purchase used items when possible.
  • Always have less stuff and learn to appreciate what you have.
  • Learn to repurpose things that you no longer use.
Reducing waste: Learn to repurpose things that you no longer use. Click To Tweet
  • Before you recycle household paper, make it into a note-sized paper for your grocery lists, etc.
  • When something gets broken, consider repairing instead of buying new replacement.
  • If you need to use disposable, go for the earth friendly varieties.
  • Carry your own travel mug when visiting your local coffee shop.
  • Always use rechargeable batteries.
  • Use battery-operated razor instead of the disposable ones.
  • Request for your bank statements and bills online instead of receiving them by mail.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Get the ink cartridges of your printer refilled instead of buying new ones.
  • Review your current recycling efforts and check if there is anything else that you can change.
  • If you need to use an item only for a short time, consider borrowing instead of buying.
  • Use reusable coffee filter when replacing your paper filters.
  • Go for loose-leaf teas that have French press instead of the tea bags.
  • Reuse and save all gift bags from the presents you receive.
  • Consider making your own baby food.
  • Give or sell things that you no longer need.

In the Kitchen

woman standing with checklist in the kitchen

There are so many ways on how you can reduce waste in your kitchen. Bringing your own bag when grocery shopping is just one of them. Here are more ways to do it.

  • Carry your own bags – reuse old paper bags and plastics when shopping for goods, vegetables, groceries, etc.
  • Bring containers for leftovers – each time you eat out, consider bringing containers with you where you can store leftovers after every meal instead of using plastics in packing leftovers.
  • Consider bringing steel thermos – a steel thermos is light and easy to carry. You can just wash it after using and use it again on the following day. You can use this for coffee, cold water, etc.
  • Bring your own silverware – purchase a carrying case for your silverware and cutlery, or perhaps you can make use of washable cloth pouch to store the silverware.
  • Avoid using plastics when storing food – plastic food storage has harmful chemicals in them that could get into food. There are lots of other viable alternatives that you can use, such as metal, ceramic, glass, etc.
  • Carry your own lunch when going to work – doing this is a great way to avoid having to use extra packaging for takeaways and deliveries. You also get to save money since bringing your own lunch is way cheaper than ordering from restaurants.
  • Soak grains and beans before you start cooking – it will only take a few seconds to soak the grains and beans before you go to bed. This can help to save the cooking time in half.
  • Minimize the need to use paper towels – use a decent sponge in your kitchen that will last for a long time. You can boil it for a few minutes each day to kill all odors and germs away.

Waste of Electricity

electrical outlet

Reducing and conserving the electricity use in your home will not only reduce energy costs, but minimize wasted energy as well. You can help to reduce the use of your home’s electricity by not only making some changes in the way you use your electricity in a regular basis but also in modifying your home’s heating system.

It is also important that you encourage everyone in your household to follow your electricity conservation efforts. Their small contributions can surely lead to a bigger result.

Check out our guide on using less electricity at home.

Construction Waste

Construction projects can lead to so much waste. Both the demolition and construction industries are responsible for producing so much waste as compared to other industries in the United States each year. Thus, it is important for those who are in the construction industry to work hand in hand in reducing the amount of construction waste that they accumulate.

During the pre-construction stage, architects, project owners, engineers, as well as the construction managers, must follow these guidelines in order to manage the waste better and reduce them in the long run.

  • Identify what your waste reduction goals are, including your targets. Make sure that you document the procedures within the contracting documents.
  • Identify all of the materials that you can reuse or recycle and how these materials can be transported for their purpose.
  • Recycle the most common materials found in the construction sites, such as the metal, paper, cardboard, plastics, concrete, wood, drywall, gravel, window glass, carpeting and other aggregates.
  • Design building dimensions that will correspond with the standard sizes of materials, most especially lumber.
  • Order materials that will optimally fit with your construction needs and avoid having excess materials delivered to the site.
  • Work with suppliers in your effort to reduce unnecessary construction materials, packaging, etc.
  • Come up with methods on how you can properly store construction materials that can help to reduce their susceptibility to damage.

Packaging

There are actually so many things that you can do in order to help minimizing packaging waste. By doing so, you can help to lessen the demand on resources that will be needed for the disposal of these packaging materials and also minimize the pollution that it can cause. Here are some tips.

  • Purchase in bulk – buying several smaller packaging will only generate more waste. Bulk buying can also help you to save money.
  • Carry your own bags when you shop.
  • Purchase loose products whenever available.
  • Go for brands that make use of less packaging.
  • Avoid buying bottled water except when the tap water in your area is not safe for drinking.

Food Waste Recipes

woman drinking smoothie

To help you in reducing food waste, here are some recipe ideas that you can consider.

  • Panzanella – this refreshing summer salad recipe requires the use of stale bread. It’s perfect for lunch and brunch.
  • French toast – this is traditionally known as the pain perdu, which means, “lost bread.”
  • Bread Balls – this requires the use of stale bread, ripped into pieces and thrown into milk. This is great for desserts.
  • Pickled vegetables – you can pickle all your leftover vegetables. You can then use these pickles as toppings for your sandwiches.
  • Vegetable Frittata – you can prepare this recipe base on whatever leftovers you have in your kitchen, such as eggs and vegetables.
  • Banana muffin – if you have leftover bananas, why don’t you use them for this banana muffin recipe? Other alternatives are banana bread and banana cakes.
  • Smoothie – a great way to cool off is to make smoothies out of your leftover fruits and veggies.

Waste of Water

Aside from saving money on your utility bill, these water conservation tips can help to prevent water pollution in nearby rivers, lakes and watersheds.

  • Check your pipes and faucets for any leaks.
  • Never use the toilet as wastebasket or ashtray.
  • Regularly inspect your toilets for any leak.
  • Use water meter in detecting hidden water leaks.
  • Install shower heads that are water saving or use low flow faucet aerator.
  • Place a float booster or plastic bottles in your toilet talk to cut down water waste.
  • Insulate all of your water pipes.
  • Cut down the time you spend in taking showers.
  • Turn the water faucet off after you wet your brush when brushing teeth.
  • Rinse your razor in a sink.

Toxic Waste

yard waste

Making a few simple changes on the products that we use everyday can lead to a sizable reduction of the toxic waste, thereby, contributing in saving the environment.

  • Avoid using commercial household cleaners as these contain a generous amount of chemicals that are not only unsafe for the human health, but for the environment as well.
  • Use natural compost for fertilizing. Fruit peels, vegetable leftovers, tea and coffee grounds and grass clippings can be used for natural compost instead of throwing away.
  • Use water based paints instead of oil-based paints that contain solvents and will need the use of thinners that can both constitute toxic waste.
  • Do not use toxic drain cleaners when unclogging drains.
  • Opt for natural alternatives when polishing your floor and other metal surfaces. Lemon oil along with vinegar can be used in polishing furniture.
  • Dispose all hazardous waste safely.

Yard Waste

By minimizing the amount of yard waste that goes to the landfills, we are helping to extend the length of time that each landfill can be used and reduce the overall need for landfill space as well. So here are some ways on how you can reduce the amount of yard waste.

  • Minimizing the size of your grass lawn – you do not really need to have a really huge grass lawn.
  • Mulching and grass cycling the clippings from your lawn mowers. An easy way to significantly reduce the amount of lawn trimmings is through mulching. Instead of sending them to landfills, leave the grass clippings at your lawn to make the soil healthy.
  • Cut and donate, trees, plants and shrubs that you no longer want in your yard – as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Thus, instead of throwing away the plants, consider donating them.
  • Come up with a backyard compost pile – coming up with backyard composting is a great way to minimize waste since you are able to mix kitchen trashes and paper products along with the yard trimmings.
  • Grow plants that you know you will enjoy and use – when reducing waste on your yard, it is important that you look at the bigger picture in order to make better choices and make all the things that are in your yard count.
  • Choose low maintenance and slow growing plants – succulents, slow growing shrubs and native plants are great choices for those who want to reduce waste on their yard.