Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle your way to a smaller footprint at home!
At Athens Services, we recommend the following 10 tips to help reduce waste in your home and encourage proper recycling:
Familiarize yourself with the types of items collected by Athens Services. Here are two hints that help recycling facilities. First, it is easier to identify smaller plastics when grouped together. Collect your small plastics in one bag, knot the bag once full, and then put in your cart. Second, return your plastic bags back to the grocery store to be recycled, or you can choose to put all your plastic bags in one secured bag before placing them in your cart.
By purchasing recycled-content product, you create a closed-loop system. Using material with at least 30% recycled content can reduce significant water and energy use, air pollution, and mining waste.
Commit to carrying your own reusable ware. This can include reusable utensils, carryout containers, coffee cups, water bottles, straws, chopsticks, and/or napkins. There are so many reusable ware options that can fit neatly in a purse or small bag.
Compost your food waste by starting a backyard or worm compost bin. See our composting section for more information about composting your food waste.
Bring your reusable bag for all your shopping needs. Keep extras in your car or find the kind that can attach to a purse. Forgetting your bags is normal, but over time and with persistence, bringing your bags can become second nature. If you forget your bags in the car, place the loose items back in your shopping cart and bag the groceries at your car.
Make it spring cleaning every season and save money. Organize a clothing and goods exchange between friends. No need to spend money and you get to have fun!
Not too long ago, people made use of all goods until they were no longer manageable. Make use of repair shops for items like shoes, clothing, and furniture.
Avoid buying over-packaged goods (like those with excess boxes and wrappers), buy in bulk verses single servings, and purchase loose fresh produce. “Every year, Californians produce 45 million tons of garbage, of which approximately one-third is packaging.” –CalRecycle.
Purchase refillable and reusable items (such as rechargeable batteries and razors.) High-quality, durable items may cost more initially, but they save you money in the long run.
Knowing what is in your trash will help you understand where you can cut back. Collect both your landfill and recycling for one week. Lay a tarp out on the ground and roll up your sleeves. Identify those items that are not recyclable or that you use a lot. Can you use less? Does a reusable or recyclable alternative exist?
CHOPSTICKS: “25 million trees are killed to produce 45 billion disposable pairs each year.” -Bian Jiang, Secretary-General of the China Cuisine Association
PAPER NAPKINS: “Americans consume yearly on average 2,200 paper napkins or 6 napkins per person per day.”-New York University