We often blame big corporations and factories when we tackle trash and its effects on the environment. But we tend to ignore the fact that household trash as a collective also contributes a massive chunk to this problem. On a website called theworldcounts.com, almost 1.1 billion tons of waste are collected from households at the time of this writing. And if you think that most of this garbage is recycled, you’d be wrong. In an article by Derek Thompson titled “2.6 Trillion Pounds of Garbage: Where Does the World’s Trash Go?”. He found that 59% of garbage was thrown into landfills in both low and high-income countries.

In comparison, only 1% of waste is thrown into landfills are recycled. It goes to show just how alarming this problem is. Although governments are devising plans to counter this issue, we should not solely rely on them and find ways to help the environment in our setting. Here are some tips you can follow.


Data from a Danish study in 2018 found that people should reuse plastic bags from the supermarket 37 times. Adding to this, a U.K study titled “Life cycle assessment of supermarket carrier bags: a review of the bags available in 2006.” also found that paper bags should be reused three times and low-density polyethylene bags from supermarkets to be used four times before being discarded. This tip doesn’t just apply to plastic bags. If you have no longer usable shirts, you can use those as rags to clean your windows. If you have plastic bottles or cans that are no longer of benefit to you, you can utilize them as a pot to grow plants or flowers on your own.


Try not to consume bottled water and bring your own with you. In an article titled “Should Bottled Water Be Banned? — Top 4 Pros and Cons,” the banning of bottled water on various U.S National Parks prevented two million bottles from being bought by the general public. If we were to ban bottled water globally, not only would it help the environment. But it would also enable us to use an additional 17 million barrels of oil to power our economies. Another thing you should invest in to reduce your waste is to use baskets or bring your reusable shopping bags when shopping. Also, you can bring your reusable metal straw when eating outside. Not only will it prevent you from using those awful paper straws restaurants provide you with. But you will also minimize the demand for plastic straws, making them obsolete.


Try to consume less in your day-to-day life. As stated earlier, the amount of garbage we produce that is recycled is dwarfed compared to the trash thrown in landfills. Adding to this, recycling plants need lots of capital money to start. They also require vast amounts of energy to create and, is most of the time, only available to high-income countries. So try to use fewer consumables and try to make the most of what you have lying around in your house.


There are different types of trash, and they all have their characteristics. Here in the Philippines, data from a study by Castillo and Otoma in 2013 found that 15–60% of garbage collected is improperly segregated. We should segregate our waste not only because it is mandated in the law but also to help our governments to dispose of them in facilities properly. The improper segregation of rubbish not only pollutes the environment but also poses a threat to humanity. Hazardous materials and medical waste not properly segregated might injure garbage collectors. Such as punctures from blades or needles that might be infected with infectious material or glass shards from broken bottles that can cut open a person’s hand. Always segregate your waste.


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