Each week here at Life Your Way, we focus on one five-day challenge. The challenges will take place on a different channel each week and include small, measurable goals to help you improve your life.
This week’s challenge is to reduce the amount of trash you produce.
I first shared The Trash Challenge last year as I realized that we were producing entirely too much waste. My goal was to first identify what exactly was filling up our trash cans and then to come up with ways to reduce the trash. Unfortunately, at some point during the last year we’ve gotten off track, and we’re once again filling up more trash bags than I care to admit each week.
As I think about the future for our kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids, I can’t imagine that our current disposable culture will be sustainable for very long. At some point someone is going to have to pay the price for the bags and bags of garbage that we contribute to local landfills each year, and that’s just not something I can ignore.
Do you know what’s in your trash can? To participate in The Trash Challenge and find out, keep a list near your main trash can so that you can write down everything that goes in it. Then, begin brainstorming ways to reduce those things.
1. Can you switch to reusable products?
2. Are there things you can recycle instead?
3. Can you repurpose any of the things in your trash?
4. Is there anything that just shouldn’t be thrown away, such as technology or perfectly good items?
5. Could you change purchasing habits to reduce some of the trash you’re producing?
For more information on reducing the waste your family produces, refer to these resources:
- Decreasing Disposables in December from Kitchen Stewardship
- How to Create a Paperless Kitchen from The Art of Simple
Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to identify what is in your trash and create strategies for reducing it. Use this Trash Challenge printable to help you keep track of what you’re throwing away.
If you participate in this week’s challenge, be sure to come back and tell us about your progress. Were you surprised by any of the things in your trash can? What’s the easiest change you can make going forward? What’s the hardest?