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.


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