alt

You’ve got meatless Mondays down pat. How about adding trashless Tuesdays to your week? It’s easier than you think to reduce the garbage you produce.

According to ZeroWasteAmerica.com, Americans produce 4.5 pounds of garbage per person—per day. That adds up to nearly a ton of waste per person per year.  That is a lot of trash.

But just think: if everyone could go even one day per week without generating any trash, it could make a serious dent in the overall problem. Many people don’t even think about the trash they make every day: the packaging their breakfast cereal and milk come in, the coffee cup from the drive through, the paper napkins at lunch, receipts and plastic bags from the afternoon shopping trip… It all adds up.

But with a few tweaks to your schedule and lifestyle, you can easily add trashless Tuesday to your routines.

1.Use Your Reusables

Employ those cute canvas shopping bags, lunch box, and insulated water bottles to their fullest. Go the extra mile and get some cloth napkins, reusable silverware and eco-friendly containers for your sandwich and chips.

2. Don’t Buy Packaged Foods

While you may already be avoiding Lunchables and single-serve packages of snacks, take your aversion to packaging even further by avoiding fruits and veggies that come in plastic and bringing your own bags for produce and bulk bin purchases.

3. Think Instead of Avoiding

Your first inclination may be to avoid shopping altogether on your trashless days (not a bad plan) but the better thing to do would be to look at your shopping with new eyes. Choose products with as little extra packaging as possible, and give preference to products whose packaging is recyclable.

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and Compost!

Whatever waste you can’t totally avoid, redirect by sending it to the recycling bin or compost pile instead of the trash heap. Do your research ahead of time and figure out what—and where—you can recycle in your town.

 image by Sean Rogers1