Posted on 20/07/2022
Best Methods to Manage Your Household Waste
Individuals, businesses, and big households alike are aiming to live more sustainably these days to reduce their carbon footprint and promote the well-being of the environment in any way possible. And waste management plays a vital role in doing precisely that. Did you know that the average household around the world throws out 2.2 kg of trash a day? And the average for a large household (4+ members) can be double that. Let’s see what steps you can take to manage your household waste in a way that promotes sustainability and possibly puts you on the path to becoming a zero-waste household.
Know The Different Types of Waste
Many people don’t know that not all waste is considered the same. There are actually a few different types of waste that your belongings can be classified as. Household waste typically falls into one of three categories:
- Wet — this type of waste is frequently found in the kitchen and includes soggy food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, brewed coffee grinds, egg shells, used tea bags, and more.
- Solid, dry — plastic, glass, metal, paper, and just about any dry material that can be recycled falls under this category.
- Hazardous — anything that is dangerous or unsanitary to recycle is considered hazardous and that includes old medicine, batteries, most electronics, wires, syringes, and more.
If we expand to the general idea of waste, there is such a thing as chemical waste, biomedical waste, and so on. But in order to manage your household waste, you simply need a firm grasp of the three we mentioned above.
5 Ways to Manage Your Household Waste
Here are a few impactful steps you can take to manage a close to zero-waste household and promote sustainability:
1. Minimize One-time-use Products
Disposable items make life a lot easier, but they also have some of the biggest impacts on the environment. Plastic bags, bottles, and packaging end up in the trash mere seconds after use. If one-time use products are absolutely necessary, like paper plates and plastic cutlery for the picnic, then make sure you recycle them afterward at the very least. What can you do to combat that instead? There are a lot of multi-use alternatives to your favorite one-time-use products. For example, take a cloth bag or a box with you when grocery shopping to eliminate the need for plastic bags. Similarly, get yourself a washable, reusable water bottle made of the material of your choice (metallic ones are great).
2. Donate Things You No Longer Want
Spring cleaning comes around every now and then, and you come to realize that you want to toss out entire boxes full of stuff: clothes, toys, furniture, appliances, and so on. If you end up with bags and boxes filled with items that are still clean, unused, or in working condition, then throwing them in the trash shouldn’t be your first plan of action. Host a garage sale, give the items away to friends, or donate them to charity to give the items you’ve outgrown a second life. After all, it is wasteful to simply bin items you don’t want. However, it’s important to ensure there aren’t any safety or sanitary issues with the items you want to donate.
3. Toss Out Clear-cut Trash
When we set aside the recyclable materials (glass, paper, plastic), compostable scraps, and fully-functioning products out of our household “trash”, we’re left with the items that are actually trash. Yes, there are things you should be throwing out without a doubt. Items like used batteries, electrical wires, broken electrical appliances, paint, and lightbulbs should be thrown in the trash. If you’re not sure what items cannot be recycled, a little independent research can help shed light on the matter. You can even challenge yourself to reduce your consumption of those products to generate less trash, but sometimes it’s inevitable in our modern world.
4. Consider Composting
Composting is a great solution when it comes to wet and dry waste, especially if you don’t know what to do with your food scraps. With composting, you utilize some of your household waste and turn it into rich fertilizer that can go towards your garden or even be sold to farmers. Gather a good amount of green items (food scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds) and brown items (leaves, branches, garden scraps) and scour the internet for a composting method that best meets your needs.
5. Segregate Your Household Waste
Separate the different types of waste in order to be able to put each type to good use. Some waste is excellent for composting and that’s it, while others are essential to recycle. When you pile them all together, that is when you end up with disorganized trash. The best way to do so is to allocate a bin or container to each type of waste in your household. You can divide the categories by recyclable waste and compostable waste. Then go ahead and separate the paper from the glass and plastic as well. The more specific you can divide the waste, the better.
If you follow all of the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to successfully manage a sustainable household and even go zero-waste in no time!