Don't Just Eat Less This New Year, Waste Less, Too
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Let's face the facts here, you probably waste a lot more than you should be wasting, right? Well, you are not alone. For starters, Americans threw away 161 million tons of material in 2009. That amounts to about three pounds of garbage per person per day. To give you a better idea of how much trash that is, picture this: in 2009, landfills were filled with trash equivalent to the weight of 88 million cars or enough trash to circle the earth 24 times. Clearly we need to make lifestyle changes to start wasting less. Yes, one person making a lifestyle change can make a difference, so now is your chance to just follow these 10 simple steps.

1. Don't even think about using plastic bags. Instead, bring a reusable one.

Plus they are more stylish, anyways.

2. Avoid individually packaged items.

Buy in bulk and save some money too! Be sure to avoid bulk packages with just as much waste as the individually packaged ones.

3. Avoid bottled soda and instead make your own.

Invest in a more sustainable way to drink soda, like a SodaStream or SodaSparkle. Again, it will save you money over time, too!

4. Bring your own food containers and utensils.

Bring your lunch in a reusable container and do not forget your utensils. Going out to eat? Bring a container into the restaurant and take your leftovers to go as well.

5. Don't forget your reusable coffee cup and water bottle too!

There are so many brands that make variations on cups and bottles so there is a product to fit everyone's style needs.

6. "No straw please". A simple phrase to add to your next order to ditch the plastic straw.

Think of how many straws you use only once just to have them be thrown away. It is quite ridiculous to think about how many straws are in landfills and in the ocean. When you ask for your water with lemon, next time, order it without a straw. You can also bring your own straw, too, like this one from Strawesome!

7. Shop Second Hand

Save even more money and have some fun thrift shopping. You might just help the planet in the process of doing so. Shopping second hand extends the life of clothing, instead of them being discarded in landfills and cuts down on manufacturing demands.

8. Grab the rag. Replace your paper towels with a reusable rag.

Why kill trees when you can quickly reduce your waste with a simple reusable rag. PeopleTowels are making "going green as easy as drying your hands."

9. Compost at home.

Composting is a fun and super sustainable way to turn waste back into organic material to be used to help plants grow. There are many ways to compost at home. Looking to compost inside? Try worm composting!

10. Recycle already! It's 2016.

If you are still throwing away important recyclable materials, then it is your time to change. Not sure if you are recycling the right materials? Check out the 7 Surprising Things You Should Not Recycle and make sure you are recycling the right way.


Most importantly, you can do it! Just take it step by step. Good luck!



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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