Looking to reduce your waste? Find out here what you can do to help make a difference in our environment every day!
1. SEGREGATE YOUR WASTE
Your trash is made up of three main categories:
- Recyclable waste : paper, plastic, aluminium cans and foils, glass, tetra paks
- Food waste : fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, leftover cooked food
- Landfill waste : all other items such as sanitary waste
The first step to reducing your waste is to separate these three different types of waste, and not mix them together in a single bin. Because once garbage is mixed, it can’t be fixed.
Over 80% of your trash is made up of Recyclable waste and Food waste, and can be recycled or composted. The remaining 20% is Landfill waste that you can reduce gradually by avoiding the disposables and packed goods. Check out our 10 easy steps to reduce your waste!
2. RECYCLE YOUR DRY WASTE
Items like plastic bottles, glass containers, paper and cardboard can be recycled into new products. The important thing is to keep these materials clean, else recycling centers are likely to reject this. Rinse off any food stains from your recyclable waste before dropping this into your bin.
Hand over your recyclable items to a local recycler or waste management NGO. Often local kabaadiwalas accept only a limited range of items such as newspaper, bottles and metals. In this case, find local NGOs or Dry Waste Centers that accept a wider range of items such as tetrapaks and thin plastics.
There are few downloadable examples of dry waste recyclers in Mumbai:
3. COMPOST AT HOME
Rather than throwing out food scraps and leftovers, turn it in to a nutritious supplement for your soil! Get a home composter to turn your food scraps into sweet-smelling compost in 30 days. There is a wide range of easy-to-use home composting solutions available in the market today starting from INR 1500. There are answers to some questions you might have :
- What is composting?
Composting is a process where microorganisms break down decomposable organic materials and turn it into useful stable product that can be use as a natural fertilizer.
- How does composting work?
Composting organisms require the right balance between two ingredients to work effectively:
- Carbon, for energy: found in dry leaves, wood shavings, cardboard and cocopeat. This is often called "brown waste".
- Nitrogen, to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon: found in kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable peels, food scraps, tea powder, coffee grounds, etc). This type of waste is more fresh and moist and often called "green waste".
You simply need to add your food scraps in the composter day by day, and cover it with brown waste. It takes less than 5 minutes a day!
- What can I compost?
Most food waste, food scraps and leftovers. Fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags and leaves, cooked meal, dairy, etc.
- What can I do with compost?
You can add some compost to your potted plants, gift it to a friend with a green thumb, feed it to your neighbourhood trees, or see if a local farm or park can use it.
- What composter should I opt for?
Choose a composter best suited for your home, based on the amount of food waste your family generates and the amount of space you have available for composting. A family of 2 typically generates 500 grams of food waste each day. Check out our favourites:
Indoor composts → Ecobin & Smartbin Air
Outdoor composts → DailyDump
Contrary to popular perception, composting is neither time consuming nor messy! It consumes less than 5 minutes of your time each day and does not emit any foul smell.
AND NOW WHAT?
Well done, you're already an eco-warrior! Once you’ve recycled or composted most of your trash, you’ll want to look at how you can reduce the waste generated in the first place.
When you buy a new piece (clothing, shoes, bike, electronic device, etc.), make sure it will be effective in the long run. The first thing about reuse is to choose quality over quantity so you don't have to replace it too often.
BUY SECOND HAND
Buying used goods cuts down on manufacturing demands and keeps more items out of the landfill. So one of the best ways to save the environment is to shop second-hand! It will also benefit your own budget as well as local businesses and charities.
Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Instead of throwing out your clothes, phones or the toys your children have outgrown, you pass them along to a friend, neighbor or charity.
Before throwing away something broken, give a try to your repair skills!
MAKE WISE PACKAGE SELECTION
Flashy and fancy packaging often costs more, creates more waste and is likely to imply disposal difficulties. You can reduce waste by selecting products that are not wasteful in their packaging, or even better, that comes package free!
Using stainless steel cutlery instead of plastic utensils, carrying a reusable bottle or switch your toothbrush for a reusable one are all examples of ways you can reduce disposables in your own life. For more ideas → here are 10 easy steps to start reducing your trash!
DON'T WASTE ANYTHING
Buy only what you need and use all of what you buy. The best way to reduce our trash problem is to simply consume less!