Landfills can reach capacity, and burning garbage harms the environment. If more people attempted to reduce household waste, we could minimize these problems. Here are a few easy ways you and your family can change your habits and generate less trash.

Reduce Household Waste by Using Reusable Bags

Instead of bringing your groceries home in disposable plastic bags, take your reusable bags to the grocery store. Reusable bags last for years, keeping hundreds of plastic bags out of landfills. Fabric grocery sacks are stronger and some grocery stores offer a discount for bringing your own bags.

Buy Foods With Less Packaging

When shopping, select brands that use less packaging for their products. Concentrated cleaning products can be mixed with water at home and come in smaller containers. If one brand of grapes comes in plastic clamshell packaging and another comes in a compostable bag, choose the grapes in the bag to reduce household waste.

Start a Compost Pile

Rather than throwing away food scraps, start a compost pile for your garden. Combine food waste with lawn clippings, raked leaves, and other yard debris. Turn the pile over about once a week. Eventually, it will break down into rich, nutrient-dense soil you can add to your gardens and landscaping beds.

Purchase a Water Filter

If you drink bottled water, you’re adding a lot of garbage to the landfill in the form of plastic bottles. Reduce household waste by purchasing a water filter. Some filters attach to your faucet, and others fit inside pitchers. Refill your metal or reusable plastic water bottle with filtered water, and carry it with you. You’ll buy less bottled water, saving money and reducing waste.

Stop Using Paper Towels

Paper towels offer a convenient way to clean spills in the kitchen, but they create a lot of waste. Stop purchasing paper towels, and buy reusable, white cotton towels or cleaning rags instead. After you’ve used one, put it in a special hamper. Then, wash all the used cleaning cloths in bleach water to sanitize them.

Reduce Household Waste by Focusing on Recycling

Most towns and cities have a recycling program, but sometimes it isn’t easy to keep track of what types of materials they will accept. Look online or ask your municipality what items you can recycle. You might create a list for your fridge of things that are recyclable, so your family members know what to recycle.

To reduce household waste, focus on making small changes over time. If you can implement just one of the tips above each week or each month, you’ll soon find yourself generating less trash and living more sustainably.

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