Home Tips

Tips for Reducing Waste at Home

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle your way to a smaller footprint at home!

Athens Services recommends the following 10 tips to help reduce waste in the home and encourage proper recycling:

#1 Improve Your Recycling!
Familiarize yourself with the types of items collected by Athens Services, see Find My City Services. Here are two hints that help recycling facilities: First, It is easier to identify smaller plastics when grouped together. Collect your small plastics in one bag, knot the bag once full, and then put in your cart. Second, return your plastic bags back the grocery store to be recycled. Or you can choose to put all your plastic bags in one secured bag before placing them in your cart.

#2 Buy Recycled!
By purchasing recycled content products you create a closed loop system. Just by purchasing material with at least 30% recycled content you can reduce significant water and energy use, air pollution and mining waste.

#3 Say Yes to Reusables!
Commit to carrying your own reusable-ware. This can include reusable utensils, carry-out containers, coffee cup, water bottle, straws, chopsticks, and/or a napkin. There are so many reusable-ware options that can fit neatly in a purse or small bag.

#4 Compost Food!
Compost your food waste by starting a backyard or worm compost bin. Click here for more information about composting your food waste.

#5 Remember Your Bag!
Bring your reusable bag for all your shopping needs. Keep extras in your car or find the kind that can attach to a purse. Forgetting your bags is normal, but over time and with persistence, bringing your bags can become second nature. If you forget your bags in the car, place the loose items back in your shopping cart and bag the groceries at your car.

#6 Swap Your Clothes & Goods!
Make it spring cleaning every season and save money. Organize a clothing and goods exchange between friends. No need to spend money and you get to have fun!

#7 Repair and Restore!
Not too long ago people made use of all goods until there were no longer manageable. Make use of repair shops for items like shoes, clothing, and furniture.

#8 Choose Minimal Packaging!
Avoid buying over-packaged goods (like those with excess boxes and wrappers), buy in bulk verses single servings, and purchase loose fresh produce. “Every year, Californians produce 45 million tons of garbage, of which approximately one-third is packaging.” -CalRecycle

#9 Buy Durable, Long Lasting Products!
Purchase refillable and reusable items (such as rechargeable batteries and razors.) High quality, durable items may cost more initially, but they save you money in the long run.

#10 Conduct a Waste Audit at Home!
Knowing what is in your trash will help you understand where you can cut back. Collect both your landfill and recycling for one week. Lay a tarp out on the ground and roll up your sleeves. Identify those items that are not recyclable or that you use a lot. Can you use less? Does a reusable or recyclable alternative exist?

Did You Know?

CHOPSTICKS: “25 million trees are killed to produce 45 billion disposable pairs each year.” -Bian Jiang, Secretary-General of the China Cuisine Association

PAPER NAPKINS: “Americans consume yearly on average 2,200 paper napkins or 6 napkins per person per day.”-New York University