10 Ways to Dispose of Disposables


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Americans generate an amazing amount of garbage. We’re all so used to cheap, disposable products that we don’t hesitate to toss that plastic water bottle, foam container, or paper towel in the trash. It’s a convenience a lot of us aren’t willing to give up, but switching from those types of disposable products to reusable options is one of the best things you can do to help the environment. Not only will you be keeping materials like plastics out of landfills, but you’ll also be reducing the amount of energy used to manufacture the products you use every day and saving money in the process. To get you started, here are ten disposable things you use almost every day that are easy to replace with reusable options.

1. Plastic Water bottles

Did you know that every day Americans throw away 50 million disposable plastic water bottles? Just imagine all the resources and landfill space that could be saved if we all put down those flimsy plastic bottles and instead filled up reusable containers. Look for aluminumsteel, or BPA-free plastic.

2. Plastic bags

Plastic shopping bags account for 3.5 million tons of landfill waste every year, but they’re one of the easiest disposable products to avoid. Just keep reusable shopping bags in your car or by the door and you’ll never have to rely on plastic to carry your groceries or anything else.

3. Coffee cups

It may seem easier to just use the disposable cups from your local coffee house, but with a little planning you can keep all that paper, plastic, and cardboard out of landfills. Most coffee houses will be happy to fill up a travel mug or reusable coffee cup.

4. Take out containers

Think of all the waste created from a single take-out meal: all those napkins, plastic cutlery, and foam containers add up to a big bag of trash. So next time you’re getting a meal to go, tell them to leave out the disposable chopsticks, forks, and napkins and instead use what you already have at home. Also make sure you keep reusable options in your office kitchen, and try to bring your lunch to school or work in reusable containers.

5. Ink cartridges

Refilling ink cartridges is an easy way to keep plastic out of landfills and to save money. You can do it yourself with kits available at office supply stores or have them refilled by professionals either in stores or through mailback programs.

6. Batteries

Lots of items that require batteries are also available in solar-powered options. Look for solar lampsflashlights, and fans, and when you have to use batteries, buy rechargeable and keep them working with a solar-powered charger.

7. Pens

Most of us don’t think twice about picking up a disposable plastic pen, but refillable pens are an easy, reliable way to cut down on office waste.

8. Razors

Razors are another item we don’t worry about throwing away. In fact, nearly 2 billion of them end up in U.S. landfills every year. So next time, skip the disposable razors in favor of one with replaceable blades. Greenhome.com offers razors that not only have replaceable blades, but the handles are made of recycled plastic!

9. Rags and towels

We’re all used to grabbing a disposable paper towel or napkin when we need to wipe up a mess, but it can be just as handy to keep kitchen towelscloth napkins, and biodegradable sponges nearby for dishes, spills, or whatever else you need to clean.

10. Diapers

Americans throw away 18 billion disposable diapers every year – that’s 2% what goes in our trash! So while they may take a bit more work, it’s worth it to switch to reusable cloth diapers. You’ll be saving money and keeping non-biodegradable materials out of landfills.

If you must use disposables, as we all have times when we must, please consider compostable options made from renewable resources such as cutlery, plates, cups, and containers.


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