In these times of climate change and financial squeeze, many Americans are wondering how to economize while becoming more green and clean. Luckily, by making simple and convenient changes to how you manage your home waste, you can both save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Recycle bottles, cans and plastics from home
Most Americans have access to curbside recycling through the garbage company or via other local services, such as Lakeshore Recycling. Despite these conveniences, according to the EPA, Americans are recycling only about a third of their waste. Recycling can reduce the garbage bill, as well as significantly reduce the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Recycle landscape waste
Recycling from home can also include landscape waste, such as grass clippings, branches, and shrubs. In some municipalities, law forbids landscape waste in landfills. Many companies that offer curbside pickup for recycling also collect landscape waste in a separate bin.
Recycle or compost food scraps
In some municipalities, food scraps can be discarded in the same bin as the landscape waste. But even without a curbside pickup, homeowners can reduce garbage bills by recycling food scraps in a compost heap in the backyard. According to the US Composting Council, keeping food scraps out of landfill is important because such organic waste contributes to the production of a greenhouse gas, methane.
Recycle gray water for irrigation
Much of the gently used gray water from homes, such as from taking showers, washing dishes or washing clothes, can be safely used for irrigating yards. In fact, such water can actually serve as valuable fertilizer, as long as “plant friendly” cleaning products are used. Inexpensive options such as buckets or a laundry drum can make it possible for anyone to collect gray water right away.
Become a low waste home
Every time you throw a paper towel or sandwich bag in the garbage, you are throwing away money and contributing to climate change. Swap out paper towels for rags, and use kitchen towels instead of sandwich baggies. Take a basket to shop at the farmer’s market, and pay only for the food you buy, rather than paying for the cartons and packaging that come with grocery store items.
With small changes to our daily routines, we can pay less for our garbage, water and food while making important reductions to the production of greenhouse gases. Being economical and being green can go hand in hand.