For many of us, spending more time at home during covid19 has led to some realisation that we produce too much trash. As you do your part to protect the planet, here are five “trash hacks” you can do from the comfort of your home :
(1). Find out what on your home
Hacking your household’s waste starts with understanding what’s on your home and what you’re throwing out. Conducting a waste audit may seem like a messy and disgusting way to clean up, but it is the best place to start changing your habits.
All you need is a couple of minutes, a little commitment, and a notebook / clipboard.
Step 1 – Start by dumping all of your trash / waste out and go through it. Soon you will learn about different types of waste. For each item of trash you find, write it on the clipboard/notebook. For each recurring item, add a tally mark – like below :
Step 2 – When you tally the frequency of the trash, you will get a good visualization on how to reduce your household trash. You can easily figure out where/how you can make the biggest impact.
Step 3 – After a few months, conduct another household waste/trash audit. Use the exact same categories and collection methods as you did the first time to make sure the comparison is as accurate as possible. You may be surprised by your results and how much your household has improved!
Since the lockdown and shelter-in-place order took effect has been the daily piles of junk on the sidewalk ready to be disposed of by our local garbage collectors. With so much free time, everyone seems to have gotten the “declutter” bug.
The question I’m often asked is: “How do I know what to throw out?” It’s pretty simple; if you haven’t used it or noticed it in the last six months, say goodbye to it. If you have kids who are unwilling to declutter their own stuff, you may need to secretly dispose of their junk that they wouldn’t readily notice is missing.
There is social value to decluttering as well. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” so when you give your stuff away to a charity; those old clothes, games, toys, etc. are going to people who are in need and would value what you no longer do.
(4). Repair and reuse
A great way to reduce waste and save money is to repair or reuse household items!
Out of old paper, you can make newspaper beads, a collage frame, or napkin rings. Plastic can be transformed into a flower vase, plastic bottle lid art, or a milk bottle cap ornament. Meanwhile, glass can be made into a beaded bottle or a wine cork board.
Many of us are using this time to sort through belongings and clean out unneeded items. During the COVID-19 health pandemic, we are encouraging those who have items to recycle/donate to hold on to those items until business restrictions are lifted if possible so that the items can be donated or recycled, have a second life, and help others in need.