by | Sustainable Energy

You drive a hybrid vehicle, shop at your local farmer’s market, walk to work (most days) and even compost! Congrats! You’ve taken great strides in becoming a green, eco-friendly, sustainable member of society.

Those trash bags that line your driveway and fill the canisters you drag to the street corner every few days, however, are giving away the size of your carbon footprint and the negative impact you have on the planet. No matter how green our lives are, we all create waste to some degree (unless you’re like this family of four that only tosses two handfuls of garbage a year!)

While a no-impact lifestyle is one we should all try to emulate, it may be more realistic to adopt practices that avoid trash creation and lead to a cleaner, more eco-friendly life. Here are a few tips to help stop the junk.

1. The first thing most of us do in the morning is reach for that all-important cup o’ joe. But between the K-Cup that gets thrown away, the little sugar packets that get thrown away, the little creamer packets that get thrown away, the paper cup and lid that get thrown away… well you get the idea.  A lot of stuff gets thrown away! Make that caffeine experience less trashy and follow these nine tips for environmentally-friendly coffee consumption.

2. The next stop on your daily garbage train: the bathroom. This room gets wasteful (get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about plastics and cardboard here!) pretty quickly. If you think about all the plastic packaging in just your shower alone (shampoo and conditioner bottles, single-use razors, unnatural loofas), it adds up. Ditch the disposables and check out these items for a trash-free bathroom.

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3. Between the pens tossed after meetings, plastic forks in the break room, broken down cardboard boxes from daily deliveries and the mounds upon mounds of copy paper, offices are major landfill fillers. Here are a myriad of ways you and your co-workers can have a cleaner, greener office by creating less garbage.

4. You’ve made it through your day and there’s only a teeny bit of trash to show for it. Kudos to you! Now it’s time to relax with some takeout and a cold beverage. But wait – all those containers, plastic ware, tissue paper napkins and that glass beer bottle are going to undo your day’s trash conservation efforts. While it may take a few extra steps, you don’t have to deal with all the waste that comes with a delicious order of Pad Thai and tofu tots. Instead, follow these tips to reduce waste when eating out.

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