We have all been affected, in one way or another, by the pandemic of 2020. The Solid Waste Industry, an essential utility for public health and safety, continued to collect and process waste and recycling, never missing a collection day.
Life looks different now!
We are working and learning from home. Shopping is done online, curbside pick-up or front door delivery. Are you on first name basis with your UPS or FedEx delivery person? Cardboard boxes are everywhere.
Things look different in the Solid Waste Industry too!
Materials that once went into the business sector - then back into the recycling stream; are now entering the residential sector - returning to us in the waste stream.
Items are going into the landfill instead of recycling.
Currently, many are spending more time at home than at any other given time of their life…spending more time in the kitchen, working in the yard, crafting, landscaping or holiday decorating.
This might be the perfect opportunity to make some small changes that will have a big effect on future generations. Your efforts will remove recycling from the waste stream and back into production.
- Think Bulk!
- One large container versus many small containers.
- Several online companies give consumers the choice to have merchandise shipped in one box - one delivery versus numerous individual deliveries…take advantage of this! You will be lowering carbon emissions and packaging materials!
- Ever think of co-op buying? Bulk purchasing split between family or friends…saves money, carbon emissions and waste!
- Think Fresh!
- Cooking with fresh foods reduces packaging waste,
- Tastes great and is good for you,
- And is better for your health and body!
- Think Reusable!
- Cloth napkins and towels versus disposable.
- Refillable silicone baggies in place of plastic baggies or wraps.
- Don’t you just love Facebook Market Place & Craigs List? Good buys and reusing items too!
- There are new cleaning cloths that are amazing. Produced from materials that require no chemical cleaners, they can be washed and reused endlessly. They come in brand names or off brands can be found in numerous local stores.
- Think Packaging Material!
- Glass, Metal, Paper & Cardboard can be recycled indefinitely.
- Many food manufactures have returned to glass and metal containers. The food tastes better without the plastic leaching into it, and the container can be recycled forever!
- Cleaning and laundry supplies are returning to powdered form and packaged in a cardboard box. The detergent in a powdered form is easier to dissolve in the washer and causes less build up in your machine!
- You’re home, build a compost area! Maybe you have kids or grandkids that need something to do, it’s simple and you can use as much or little creativity as you want. It’s a FREE way to fertilize your lawn, trees, flower pots and gardens and save on water usage too.
- It will lower methane gas emissions from the landfill,
- Stop the needless overfilling of the landfill cell,
- And it’s a great science experiment for the entire family. It’s crazy seeing the weird looking bugs and how quickly it decomposes.
It’s good to put 2020 behind us, but there could be changes in our lives and shopping habits that could be with us forever. Let’s resolve in 2021 to extend these changes to include environmentally sound disposal as well. Not all waste is garbage. 75% of what you purchase and use daily can be recycled.
It starts at home…teach yourself and your family how to reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s really quite simple and makes a big difference. Leave a legacy of the environment, nature and natural resources. Don’t put the future in the trash. Cheers to 2021!