Waste Reduction Opportunities

waste reduction better
Despite the fact that the U.S. constitutes 5% of the world’s population, we generate 30% of its trash. The average American creates a staggering 4.5 pounds of rubbish daily. In addition to alleviating the land use controversies, transportation costs, and contamination issues surrounding landfills, waste reduction is the best management option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

When you prevent waste and recycle, you reduce the production of climate-changing gases by:
  • Reducing energy consumption-related emissions (use less, produce less)
  • Reducing emissions from incinerators (less waste is combusted)
  • Reducing methane emissions from landfills (methane is produced by the anaerobic decomposition of paper and other organic materials)
  • Increasing storage of carbon in trees (more trees remain standing)
Here’s a list of things you can do to support a waste reduction campaign:
  • Reduce your output
    • Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them out
    • Reduce your dependency on landfill space by composting kitchen and yard waste
    • Invest in durable, reusable products, and then maintain and repair them
    • Reduce use of disposable / single use items in your home (e.g. use washable containers instead of disposable plastic sandwich bags)
    • Buy goods that are sold in reusable or recyclable containers; avoid over-packaged products and those with non-recyclable packaging
    • Start or support a recycling program in your business/school/church
  • Reduce your intake