Hannah Scholes. COURTESY PHOTO

Hannah Scholes. COURTESY PHOTO

Waste reduction from home

A monthly column from Waste Management.

  • Thursday, May 7, 2020 12:08pm
  • Life

Many of us are spending more time at home these days – preparing food, working and learning from home, cleaning out closets, and tackling those DIY projects.

That also means we’re generating a lot of trash. The average American throws away about 4.5 pounds of stuff every single day. That’s a whole lot of garbage. It’s also a big opportunity.

For Kirkland residents, it’s an opportunity to get smart about waste. Meaningful waste reduction can take some work and require behavior change – including better purchasing decisions and lifestyle choices. But time spent changing your family’s routine will not only benefit the environment, it will also save you money.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on some waste reduction from home strategies while you work from home:

• Tip 1 — Reduce. You’ve heard it before and it’s truly the best way to decrease your environmental footprint (as well as the strain on your wallet). Before buying something, ask yourself: Do I really need this? When you do buy something, think about each purchase thoroughly to ensure it will be long-lasting and as low-impact as possible.

• Tip 2 — Quit the single-use habit. Disposable products are often part of our regular routine because they are convenient, but many have environmentally-friendly, reusable alternatives. Next time choose reusable water bottles, napkins, utensils and more. Just think, if every American used one less roll of paper towels per year, we could save more than 550,000 trees.

• Tip 3 — Don’t despair, repair. If you’re spending extra time at home, take advantage of the chance to patch that hole in your jeans or tighten the legs on your favorite footstool. With the help of YouTube and Google, you can become a successful handyman or woman.

The important thing to remember about behavior change is that it starts with small actions. Over time, small steps can grow into sizable impacts and a greener lifestyle.

Yes, this is a challenging time for all of us in Kirkland, and we’ll get through it together. Why not reduce waste and save a little money at the same time?

Hannah Scholes is now leading Waste Management’s COVID-19 digital outreach to help businesses and the Kirkland community position for recovery. Send your questions to recyclenw@wm.com.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Forbes Creek Park. Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland
Kirkland reopening playgrounds

The city states there’s been an increase in compliance in masking and social distancing in the city, leading to the reopening

Diya Garg, left, distributes Mighty Crayon recycles crayons and coloring books for Seattle students. Courtesy photo/Diya Garg.
Getting crayons to kids runs in the family

Eastside nonprofit Mighty Crayon is relaunched by younger sister of founder, repurposing used restaurant crayons

Photos: Students give thank you cards to local health workers

The cards were delivered to home care and hospice centers and EvergreenHealth.

Dr. Adam Rothenber is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at EvergreenHealth Orthopedic & Sports Care. Courtesy photo/EvergreenHealth
The ins and outs of joint replacement

By Dr. Adam Rothenberg Special to the Reporter According to the Center… Continue reading

Terry Lentz, pictured, has won the I am AGELESS Community Builder Award. Courtesy photo/Woodlands at Forbes Lake
Kirkland volunteer to receive award for spirit and service during COVID-19 pandemic

Presented by SHAG Community Life Foundation, the award recognizes those whose service, skills and spirit defy aging’s stereotypes.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Screenshot of the stray kitten and the Rev. Aaron Burt from the July 12 liturgy video.
Stray kitten surprises local priest during virtual Sunday service

“It was one of the most difficult sermons I’ve ever had to offer, because I was trying not to step on her.”

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

Listen and Talk students playing on playground. Courtesy photo.
Specialty school coming to Kirkland

Listen and Talk is a specialized program for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing