The average American produces about 6 pounds of trash per day, approximately 1.5 of which is recycled. With landfills overflowing and extreme concerns about the environment, many businesses and everyday individuals are setting goals to achieve zero waste. But is this overly ambitious?
Food Waste Is Easy To Eliminate
By growing your own fresh herbs year-round, planting a garden, buying from a farm share or farmer’s market, and composting your produce waste—you can drastically reduce your food waste. This of course would require most of the foods you eat to be cooked at home. So, when ordering in, support restaurants with recyclable containers. Bring reusable hot and cold beverages with you at all times and don’t let food spoil.
Next up, invest in quality clothing, beauty products, and home and office goods—but think outside the box when something breaks, fails, or is no longer needed. Almost everything can be recycled or repurposed. Don’t believe it? Sign up for TerraCycle and learn just how true this statement is. You can also sign up for Loop to shop nationwide brands that have impressive single-use alternatives.
Most Government Zero Waste Programs Include Waste
This is not a bad thing, it just speaks to the plain and simple fact that waste cannot be 100% eliminated without going to an extreme. When it comes to most company, city, or government waste programs the goals are as follows, with as few things as possible heading to a landfill.
- Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Redesign
- Reduce Waste, Toxicity, Consumption, and Packaging
- Repair, Reuse and Donate
- Down Cycle and Beneficial Reuse
- Waste-Based Energy as disposal
- Landfill Waste as disposal
One hundred percent will never be possible but you can whittle your 6 pounds a day down to almost nothing!