How can I reduce my garbage output?

article_imageQ: My family seems to fill up a garbage bag so quickly. How can we reduce the amount of trash we dispose of each week?

A: You’ve heard it said, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” That sums it up well. The best way to cut down on trash is to get everyone in the family to reduce what they bring into the home. When shopping, avoid purchasing individually wrapped items. Buy in bulk, refill and choose concentrated versions. My daughter, Emma, and I pre-cycle by checking containers while at the store to see if they can be recycled before we bring them home. Also, our family gets a kick out of seeing how much we can reuse items before we throw them away.

One of the reasons Americans throw so much away is that very few of us live in true community with our neighbors. Get to know your neighbors and find out what they need. Also, you can post items on to make sure they get a second life. Of course, learn about the recycling program in your area, and recycle everything possible.