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How To Reduce Trash

By Fredrica Syren

Trash is one of the hardest problems to eliminate or reduce for most people, and it has been difficult for us, too.  When we throw something into the trash, it kind of disappears from our minds. It might be disappearing from our sight, but it surely is not gone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds (13 kg) per week and 1,600 pounds (726 kg) a year. This takes into consideration only the average household member and does not count industrial waste or commercial trash. Of course, all this garbage is “hidden” in landfills. As a matter of fact, the US is the number one country in the world in garbage production. I believe this is because we live in a disposable and convenient society. Look around and see how many things you use daily that will produce trash. So many articles are individually wrapped. And we all are guilty of buying bottled water at least once in our lifetime. Most of this garbage, such as plastic bottles, will provide relief for a short while but will take between 70-450 years to decompose in a landfill.

Since our family has started making an effort to reduce our trash, we have become more aware and now try to avoid buying things that cause trash. The first step was to become ultra-busy working on recycling. The second action we took that made a huge difference was to switch to cloth diapers and wipes. When we learned that 49 million disposable diapers are being used each day in the US and that all of these will take about 500 years to decompose, it was an easy switch.

Other ways we eliminate our garbage are as follows:

· Use rags and cloths instead of paper towels
· Buy things in bulk and use reusable bags for them
· Don’t buy individually wrapped foods
· Buy groceries at farmers markets
· Recycle any electronics
· Use cloth menstrual pads
· Use soap nuts
· Limit take-out foods, and ask to have it packed in our own containers and reusable bags when we do get it
· Wrap presents in cloth instead of paper
· Return eggs cartons to seller
· Contact companies about not sending any more paper junk mail; get bank statements, etc., electronically. (Most companies offer that service these days.)
· Stop catalogues
· Save kids’ old and stained clothes to give to a friend who makes quilts out of them.
· Always bring our own reusable bags to any stores
· Borrow and/or purchase used books, toys, clothes etc.


About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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