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Unexpected Ways that You are Creating Waste, and How to Reduce It

A pile of cardboard moving boxes that will eventually become post-consumer waste.

The huge amounts of waste that humans are creating are more apparent now than ever before. We understand how our lifestyles effect the environment and what we can do to leave a better planet for the next generations to come. Most of us are making conscious choices every day to reduce the amounts of waste that we create and recycle what we do use.

There are, however, a lot of things that most of us do regularly that cause excess waste that we do not even realize. A few extra small changes every day can help reduce your impact on the planet even more and create a better environment for everyone. Here are some of the unexpected ways that you are creating waste, and how you can reduce them.

Packaging material waste

We use an enormous amount of packaged materials every day. Although the items themselves may not be bad for the environment, the packaging that they come in often is. Think about everything that you open and unwrap on a daily basis, it adds up quickly.

Try to cut this down by taking a good look at the packed things that you use every day and try to find a reusable method to replace it. If it’s food, use reusable containers instead. Recycle any and all items that come in a package, even things like hand soap. Use reusable bags at the grocery store and try to shop locally to reduce shipping waste.

Moving waste

Between the boxes and packing paper to the gas emissions from the moving vans, every time you move causes a large amount of waste. Many people also use moving as an opportunity to get rid of things in their homes that are no longer used or needed. Simply throwing out all of these items created an even bigger pile of waste and could be done in a more eco-friendly way.

Look for moving companies that use eco-friendly transportation. You can also buy or rent reusable packing materials, reducing your environmental waste and making your unpacking process a little easier. Instead of simply throwing out old items, hold a garage sale or donate them to charity instead.

Water waste

Water is an extremely precious resource that a lot of people take for granted. We use a lot of water daily that is really unnecessary. Not only is that damaging to the environment, but water is also the most essential resource we have.

Try to turn off the water more often during each day. Never leave the water running while you do dishes or brush your teeth. You could even consider turning the water off while you shave. Replace old appliances that use water with new, energy efficient models, like dishwashers and washing machines.

Mercury waste

Mercury is a sneaky chemical that is in a lot of items that we use every day. Although these items are not harmful to use if we use them correctly, the mercury in them is extremely harmful to the environment. Some of these items include thermostats, neon lamps, batteries, and light bulbs. Many people do not know that is unsafe to throw these items in the trash.

Separate these items from your trash and recycling and take them to hazardous waste site. Many big companies like Target will host waste pick-up events for the community. This keeps mercury out of landfills and keeps our environment safe.

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