Karen Fisher and David Wasilewski, of Hunlock Township, Pennsylvania managed to only use one garbage bag in a 16-week span. How did they do it?
The Hunlock Creek couple compost all plant material and cat litter (a compostable type available in stores) outside, keep animal and fish waste in a bag in the freezer and first rinse the stuff they do chuck in the trash. They also avoid throw-away packaging as best they can, and recycle everything else.
Wasilewski’s own children have grown up and moved out, so there’s no need for competitions in his house, but he still pesters them to be vigilant when they return for a visit. It’s not only about setting a new record, or trying to keep their house clean and stench-free.
There’s an even simpler reason.
“Because the environment is a person’s home” Wasilewski said. “And you should try and take care of your home.”
Does your community recycle? If not, urge your community leaders to set up a recycling program.
Eight tips for reducing the amount of trash you produce in your household
1. Stop, or cut down on using plastic bags. Keep a resusable cotton or mesh bag with you in your car. Recycle the plastic bags you have rather than throwing them away – many grocery stores have receptacles to do just that.
2. Set up your recycling in a convenient place. If your recycling bins are in the kitchen or nearby, you’re probably more likely to drop something in there rather than the trash.
3. Recycle everything you can.
4. Compost your fruit and vegetable waste. Composters are available at big hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot range from about $35-$100.
5. Stop, or cut down on using take-out containers at restaurants. Bring your own containers or leave some in the car.
6. Check the package before you buy something to make sure it’s recyclable and/or made of recyclable material.
7. Buy Secondhand. Reuse someone else’s stuff, and it comes without packaging.
8. Let businesses know how you feel. If you buy a product that has a lot of packaging, call up or write the company and complain. Politely, of course.
Courtesy of the Clean Bin Project, in which three people were able to reduce the trash they generated to 4 lbs. each for an entire year.
©2013 I Choose a Clean World