It’s that time of the year again. Christmas has come and gone; the dinners are over but definitely not forgotten. We’re all complaining about those few extra pounds the holidays brought us. For many of us, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions!
The first resolution that often comes to mind is “I’m going to go to the gym, time to lose those few extra turkey pounds.” By the end of January, however, often our mission to a better body has gone out the window. We get back to our normal schedules, our busy lives and we no longer can fit that hour or two in at the gym each week.
This year, let’s do something achievable. For 2012, let’s focus on the environment and all make a resolution to lower our household’s garbage!
Think you can take the challenge? Here are 10 ways your home could reduce how much waste you put at the curb every other week.
1. Make waste fun. Each week have the entire family help the night before collection day. Make a game of collecting all the waste bins in the house, race to see who can sort waste the fastest. Award prizes for correctly sorted bins!
2. Reuse before landfill. In with the new, out with the old — Christmas often results in new household items. Old items in good condition can be reused! Drop items off at your local reuse store. You can even sell the items online. Or just start asking friends and family. You’d be surprised how quickly you can give items away for reuse.
3. BYO Program. Start bringing your own reusable containers with you. When having dinner at friends’, bring home leftovers in your container rather than throwing out that delicious food. Even try this when eating out. Find out what restaurants will allow you to use your own container for take out! This is better than using their non-recyclable plastic take-out containers.
4. Only buy what is necessary. When shopping, remember to only buy items you really need. Ask yourself, do you want something, or is it a necessity?
5. Bring reusable bags. Make a resolution to actually remember to bring those reusable bags into the store – And not just the grocery store, think bigger, even the mall and big box stores!
6. Buy items in recyclable packaging. Buy items that are packaged in material that can be recycled in Halton’s Blue Box. If you prefer one brand over the other, but they do not come in recycled packaging, email, call, or write a letter to the manufacturer — you could be the one to make a difference.
7. Stop receiving unwanted catalogues. Are there items piling up in your house going unread? Stop getting them, most of the items can be viewed online. Call the catalogue company to be removed from their mailing list.
8. Stop using paper towels. Instead of wasting paper towels on spills, cleaning, or drying the dishes, switch to rags, wash cloths and drying towels. All these items can be cleaned and used again for the same purpose. Also, try buying cloth napkins, these can also be washed and reused for next time.
9. Bring your reusable mug. Make the resolution to brew your own coffee and travel with your own mug. You’ll save time, money and the environment!
10. Do it right! Do you know what items are accepted in Halton’s Blue Box and GreenCart program? Visit the website, read your calendar, follow us on Twitter or continue to read this blog. Keep up-to-date on any changes to programs and ensure you know how to properly participate.
This year, instead of watching our waist, let’s watch our “waste” get less and less!
I challenge you to pick one resolution, or decide to conquer them all throughout the year. I hope you will make a conscious decision to reduce your household waste and help save landfill space.