Stewardship Monday: Trash Audit

As we clean up our homes, we may also be able to clean up our habits. In America, 1.35 billion pounds of garbage was thrown away every day­­­—about 4.5 pounds per person. That garbage weighs about as much as 6,750 blue whales! How much trash do you throw away? Sometimes it is hard to tell as we move about our face-paced lives. A straw here, a wrapper there, a ready made lunch and dinner from a mix…it all adds up.

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Trash audit challenge:

Don’t throw anything out! Keep it all, including recycling and compost, no matter where you are. You may want to carry around a couple of bags to sort trash, recycling and compost. Start with one day, then see if you can make it to a whole week.

At the end of a day (or week), weigh your unsorted waste. Next, weigh your recyclables, compostables, and trash. What do you discard the most?

After making this trash audit, consider what you can do to throw away less stuff—can you buy something that comes in a recyclable container rather than one that must be thrown away? Are there reusable options?

My personal goal is to plan ahead to make my lunches more often rather than buying premade lunches at the coffee shop or grocery store. This will save on packaging materials, money and calories! What small change will you make?


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