Household Waste Management

The numbers are increasing. The United Nations Development Programme estimates that there are five million people who die each year because of diseases related to inappropriate waste disposal. It is the developed countries who are generating more wastes. About .75 tons of trash is being produced annually by an individual in the United States, that is according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency or US EPA. It can be reduced through waste management. Home waste management is not just about less trash, it is about protecting and saving the environment. You could start by monitoring what you throw and how much waste is hauled from your home. Monitoring what you dispose would help you deal with them using other methods. Waste management could be summed in three important words: reduce, reuse, recycle. • Reducing wastes. Buying food in packs will add to your waste, try buying food loose like vegetables and fruits. You could also get your home appliances regularly maintained or repaired. This would give your appliances longer life and avoid throwing away equipment. • Reusing items. Appliances or home equipment that are not being used can be donated to charity. You could also use a cotton bag for shopping, this would reduce paper or plastic bags that you will be taking home. There are different methods on how you can reuse or repurpose old items in the house. There are different websites that can give you different ideas. Also buy reusable items rather than disposable items. You could get water bottles or a coffee mug instead of frequently buying plastic water bottles or disposable coffee cups. • Recycling. You could start having a composting bed at home. This would be great for the environment and for your garden, too. Vermiculture or worm farming is also another way to recycle your waste and even earn extra income. Look for recycling centres near your home to bring items that you would like to be recycled. Another source of household waste is food waste. How do you reduce your food wastes? Then start by buying food that you would really consume and need. There are studies showing that about 74% of people will be making purchase decisions after entering the grocery store, which is why you need a shopping list. But before you start shopping, check your household supplies first and identify which food should be consumed immediately. Be a smart shopper, think about what will happen to the food, its containers, and packages before you go ahead and buy. Food could be stored in the refrigerator for longer life and fruit and vegetable peelings could go to your compost bin. Another waste management concern is about hazardous materials found in our home. The United States government categorized about 500 hazardous wastes and how it should be disposed. These hazardous materials are very much present in our home like house cleaners, paint, and pesticides. And hazardous wastes are not disposed just like any other trash. We could start using organic and chemical free cleaners. For paints, make sure that we are buying enough and not too much. For example, in Minnesota hazardous waste sites, in 1998, about 4 million pounds of excess paint was collected. You are not only saving the environment; you are also making your home safer for your children.