Earth Day: Kick a trashy habit.

This Earth Day we’re ready to get serious about our personal trash production. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to start making simple tweaks in your everyday life to reduce your trash footprint.

The average American generates about 4.4 pounds of trash per day, which might not feel like a lot on a day-to-day level, but the numbers combined are startling:


3 ways to start reducing, reusing, and recycling on a daily basis

1. Get smart about bags.

It’s a no-brainer: Take reusable bags with you to the supermarket and skip the plastic. Make it easy for yourself: Keep one in your work bag so you have it even if you make an impromptu grocery run. Baggu and Chico Bag are two great companies with super-compactable bags so you won’t have trouble fitting it in with the things you already carry. Another tip: Save the bags you get at the supermarket for produce and take them with you to reuse on future trips. Store them in your grocery tote so you never forget them.

Bonus: Some places, like Whole Foods, have compostable produce bags. So even if you don’t take them back to the supermarket to reuse, you can use them in your home compost bin.

2. Ditch plastic for good.

Get yourself a reusable water bottle and hot drink container.  You can buy cool fancy ones or save your next glass-bottled beverage or even jam jar, and you’ve got yourself a free one. Like we said earlier, Americans throw out 22 billion plastic bottles every year— that’s 60 million bottles every day. Avoid contributing to that pile. Look for other ways to avoid plastic in your daily life, like picking up a stainless steel drinking straw rather than unwrapping another piece of plastic trash.

3. Buy thrift.

We understand; we like new things, too, but our shopping habit  — especially fast fashion— is filling our landfills. In 2013, America generated 15.1 million tons of textile waste, and 12.8 million tons were discarded. Next time you have an urge to go shopping, check out a thrift store instead of the department store or Amazon. Buying secondhand clothing keeps items out of the landfills and gives perfectly great pieces a second (or third or fourth) life.  Plus, you’re more likely going to get unique items, rather than passing three people on the street wearing the same H&M sweater as you. ;)

Ready to do more? Check out our previous posts on DIY flatware-to-go and how to start an at-home compost bin.

Suggested Inspirational Reading:

All My Trash Fits in a Single Mason Jar - New York Mag