Reducing waste can sometimes be a matter of planning. In the case of food, for example, there are many ways to reduce waste.
Reducing food waste:
- Only buy what you need
- Eat leftovers at least once a week
- Store perishables, including fruit, meat, and bread, in the freezer
- Use items like onions and celery for more than one recipe
- Favor products with less packaging or recyclable packaging
- When you order online, select the option to have the items shipped together
- Buying in bulk sometimes includes more packaging per item rather than less. Look carefully.
Before throwing away items it’s good to see if there’s another use for them. Thing like boxes and old clothes can often be repurposed or reused. Here are some ideas for reusing items:
- Vegetables with a root end like onions and celery can be replanted if you save enough of the base.
- Most cleaned out containers can be refilled. Plastic containers can often be used for plants.
- Donate household items that are still usable. Some charities will arrange a pick up at your home so it’s no more difficult to put items out for charity than it is to take out the trash.
- Have a garage sale
- Use old clothes with nice fabric to make a quilt or throw pillow.
- Donate food.
When you sell or donate used items, you’re helping the environment because someone will use your old stuff instead of buying something new. Every item that is manufactured is contributing to carbon emissions. The less that is manufactured, the better it is for the environment.
If you live outside of the city limits of Bryan-College Station Texas, you’ll need to arrange for residential trash and recycling pickup. Make sure you acquaint yourself with the list of acceptable materials so you aren’t throwing away items that could be recycled.
If you have other items that you would like to recycle, like computers, you can go to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website. Texas law requires that TV and computer manufacturers offer the opportunity to recycle their products. The TCEQ website also helps you find ways to recycle other e-waste.
Food recycling isn’t available in Brazos Valley yet. If you really want to recycle food, you can start composting at home. Composting recycles your food back into the ground. It’s a lot better than sending your old vegetables to the College Station Landfill where they may never degrade.
Helping the environment will also help you financially. If you compost you won’t need to buy fertilizer. Donating items comes with a tax break. Selling old things gives you money directly. Reusing and repurposing takes the place of new items that you might otherwise need to buy. Being green is all about efficiency, that’s why it’s such a good idea.