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8 Ways to ZeroTrash

March 30, 2009

Many of you have been contacting us about taking personal responsibility for the environment and it’s great to see.  We get a lot of questions from people who want to reduce their environmental footprint but are not quite sure how. To help out, we’ve put together a list of 8 simple ways we can all cut down on waste by learning how NOT to use our trash cans.

The Waste Lifecycle

  1. Recycle. Baby, don’t throw it all away. Up to 70% of materials routinely disposed of in landfills could be recycled instead. Visit the National Recycling Coalition for more info.
  2. Compost. Every year we each throw away about 1200 lbs of organic garbage that could be turned back into sweet, sweet soil just by digging a hole, covering it with a lid, throwing your yard trimmings/food scraps in it and letting the worms do their thing. Don’t have a place to dig a hole? Check out how apartment dwellers do it in NY.
  3. If you smoke, properly dispose of your cigarette butts. A lot of people think butts are biodegradable. Not so much. When these acetate (plastic) filters are thrown on the ground, their final destination is typically our waterways; where they stay for hundreds of years releasing toxic chemicals into our drinking water and destroying aquatic ecosystems.
  4. Join the fight against single-use plastic bags.  One million plastic shopping bags are used every minute. They’re awful. They hang around indefinitely and break down until they become small enough to seep into our ground water (and our bodies). They also have a tendency to find their way into the ocean, killing all sorts of marine life.
  5. Buy sustainable. Change will come from us as consumers creating a greater demand for things like Biodegradable trash bags and products made from recycled materials.
  6. We need to address our drinking problem. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour. Most of them are tossed in the trash. We also throw away 25,000,000,000 styrofoam coffee cups every year. Find out more about the problems of single-use plastics at Rise Above Plastics
  7. Take your old appliances, clothes, furniture, etc. to a thrift store instead of throwing them in the trash. Give your stuff a chance to be reused.
  8. When see trash lying around – don’t walk past it!? Pick it up!

By making a few simple changes we can all do our part to keep trash out of our city streets, landfills and waterways. Keep up the good work ZT Heroes!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 8, 2009 4:06 pm

    Good list. I try to do all of the above. Composting is a recent adventure for me – so far, so good!

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