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Reducing the amount of trash you have is an excellent way to help the environment. There are many ways to do this. You can do all of these or select the ones you want to do. Naturally the more you do the better it is. However, something is always better than nothing. Whatever youíre able to do it will be helpful.

To also help with trash you can use paper bags for your dry trash or other biodegradable bags. They can cost a bit much but if you're reducing your trash you won't need as many.

1. Eliminate or reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags you use. 1 million plastic bags are used per minute globally and they donít decompose. See the section on plastic bags for more info.

2. Compost. This is great for the environment in many ways. One, it eliminates a lot of trash. Two, it nourishes the garden. Iím currently researching on compost and will be writing an article about it when I learn more.

3. Donít buy pre-packaged foods. Cooking your dinner with whole foods instead of processed foods helps both you and the environment. Itís healthier for your body as the preservatives and other chemicals in processed foods isnít really good for you. Itís healthier for the environment because you reduce waste by not needing to throw away the packaging. Plus you can get creative with your dishes and really personalize them.

4. Recycle. Recycling is when items are remade into new items. You can do this yourself (turning a coffee can into a planter for example) or you can put your recyclables into marked bins for pick up. If they donít pickup recycling in your neighborhood then you can bring your recyclables to a recycling plant (where they sometimes will pay you for certain items).

5. Donít use disposable products. Paper plates, paper napkins, plastic cups, plastic utensils, paper towels, etcÖtry not to use all of these when you can. They are very wasteful and the plastic versions are terrible for the environment as they donít decompose. Cloth napkins and towels are excellent for cleaning up messes. They donít need to be fancy or expensive. Just any absorbent cloth will do. And as for the dishes, washing them is better than throwing them away.

6. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable. If you have a baby then using cloth is the best you can do. Iíve been told that disposables have chemicals that arenít really safe for babies but in truth I know little about that. I do know that cloth isnít really an inconvenience. Use a waterproof bag to carry the soiled diapers in when youíre out and you can use a small trash bin to store them in the home. Put them in the wash before bed or hire a diaper service (if available). Nothing special needs to be done for them. They are cheaper too. Plus most mothers who use cloth claim that their babies get fewer diaper rashes, if any. I used disposable with my first child and cloth with my second. I must say I prefer the cloth.

7. Don't use disposable feminine products. If you're female you can use cloth pads instead of disposable ones. If that's not your fancy you can also use a menstrual cup.

Iím sure there are other ways to reduce trash. Unfortunately I donít know them. If you know of one that I didnít mention here then please e-mail me and let me know.

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