Reducing Your Family’s Trash: How a Few Simple Strategies Can Make a BIG Difference

Last Week’s Trash: 38.4 LBS / 4 Bags / 18 LBS Recycle
This Week’s Trash: 23.6 LBS / 2 Bags / 16 LBS Recycle

So this week, we decreased our trash by 15 LBS and 2 bags. If this becomes our new average, we would reduce our family’s garbage by 780 LBS in a year! Not too shabby.

Here are a few easy practices to start reducing your family’s trash today:

Cooking cook I’ve been guilty of bulk cooking. Sometimes I do this with recipes I’ve never tried, only to find out that I now have a gallon of awful soup that nobody in my family wants to eat. The bowl just glares at me from the refrigerator every time I open the door to select something tastier. This week I only made food that our family would eat and I had an intentional plan to use the leftovers.
Smart Grocery Shopping & Realistic Meal Planning Shop Smart to Reduce Waste I know we want to buy as much as we can to avoid multiple grocery stops in the same week… especially when we have to shop with kids. PAINFUL! However, this week, when I shopped, I only bought enough items to make 4 meals instead of 6. Realistically, I won’t make all 6 meals. When I plan for 6 meals, I always end up tossing unused, spoiled food.  How many meals do you normally plan? Are you making all of those meals?
Skip Cooking When You Have Leftovers  Eat Your Leftovers This seems common sense, but sometimes when we schedule meals we feel like we have to stick to the plan. If you have leftovers accumulating in the fridge, take the night off from cooking. Declare it a Leftover Holiday!
Inventory Your Fridge Inventory Your Refridgerator Every day or so glance over the items you have on hand (especially fruits and vegetables). If there is something that is at it’s peak ripeness and potentially on the verge of spoiling, incorporate it into a meal that day..
Teach Kids Not to Waste Food Don't Raise Wasteful Kids My kids aren’t picky, but they aren’t huge eaters. There are times when they literally take one bite and refuse to eat anymore because they “aren’t hungry.” This week, we started something new! If they didn’t eat their meal, they got that same meal back at snack time. It’s amazing what kids will eat when they are hungry.
Save Plant Based Kitchen Scraps for Composting Composting Save all plant based kitchen scraps to use in your compost pile! If you aren’t a gardener, you still have options! Check to see if you have any gardening friends that maybe would be interested? Post it on Craigslist. People love free stuff. You can also check with your city to see if they have a composting program in place.
Keep Calm and Recycle On recycle Continue to recycle all the obvious materials: jugs, cans, paper, glass jars, junk mail, cardboard boxes, etc.

Hopefully this helps you take the first step to reducing the amount of your family’s trash. Later this week, I’m going to discuss details on composting.

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