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2X4: Four Ways To Reduce Waste

Waste comes in many forms. Trash, energy and water can all be wasted, which costs you money and hurts the environment. Do a solid for Oscar the Grouch and reduce your waste! Here’s how:

   

Photo: West Elm

Maintain Kitchen Appliances. Your blender may have been sleek and shiny when you bought it, but a few hundred smoothies later it’ll start to wear down. If you don’t take care of your appliances, they won’t last very long. In fact, each year over 10,000 toasters end up in landfills in the United States. To prevent your appliances from prematurely adding to the waste pile, regularly maintain them to keep them running smoothly. Not only will a properly maintained coffee maker, toaster or blender reduce waste, it will save you money, too!

Eliminate Air Leaks. Waste comes in many forms, and the average household wastes 11% of its energy because of leaking doors and windows. Eliminating drafts is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy and money. The simplest approach to draft reduction is to place a rolled up bath towel at the base of a drafty door. Or, you can make your own DIY draft snake in four simple steps with common items around your house. For step-by-step instructions, read: Stay Warm and Save Money With Door Draft Stoppers.

   

Photo: Baggu | Photo: West Elm

Purchase Reusable Bags. The average American goes through six disposable grocery bags a week – that means 300 million wasted bags in the United States! Those wasted bags can take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose. Instead of tossing plastic bags, use one or two reusable bags instead. You can find them for as little as $1 in assorted and attractive patterns and shapes. If you choose one waste reduction method, choose this one, because the use of a reusable bag by just one person can save over 22,000 plastic bags over a lifetime!

Shorten Your Showers. Only 1% of the water on earth is fresh and usable by humans. That incredibly small percentage is being used up faster than it can be replenished, and because of that at least 36 states predict local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. A long, hot shower is certainly a great way to relax, but would you suffer that much if it was two minutes shorter? Stop wasting precious water by shortening your showers. Even a one or two minute reduction can save you up to 700 gallons per month! Want to learn more? Read: Conserve Water.

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