What can we do to better improve our environment? Be aware! Do you know America has a waste disposal problem? The average American disposes 600 times their weight in garbage per year, generating over four pounds of trash in a single day. This amount of waste takes up a lot of landfill space. Here are some useful tips to help you and your family effectively reduce waste.

1. REDUCE and REUSE! There are so many ways to do this. Be a smart shopper and buy the appropriate amount of food to help you cut back on waste. Use reusable containers for packing leftovers.

2. Composting is great for food scraps and various yard waste. Remember you can supplement your compost bin with yard trimmings and leaves.

3. Go paperless! Avoid mail and receive bills on line or a smart device. Many stores now offer digital receipts as well.

4. Shop responsibly!  Buy products made from recycled material or items that are easy to recycle. Avoid individually wrapped items. Reduce waste by buying in bulk.

5. Are you recycling? Utilizing trash removal and recycling services can help manage waste effectively. Recycling 1 ton of cardboard is equivalent to 9 cubic yards of landfill space.

6. Buy second-hand. United States textile waste is rampant! Purchasing clothing from second hand stores can provide high-quality low-cost clothing, benefiting both you and the environment.

When disposing of items be resourceful. There are many local websites offering on line yard sales and free cycle sites. If you are disposing of toys, books, clothing, furniture or electronics, first see if it still has some life left. If so, consider selling, donating or handing it down to someone that could use it. Don’t forget to check your municipality to see if the item can be recycled. Once you have eliminated these steps you are most likely ready to discard the item as trash.