18 Signs You’re Accidentally Creating More Waste Than You Think

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Nowadays, being aware of our environmental impact is more important than ever. After all, we only have one world to live in, so it’s our job to take care of it so it lasts. But with so much trash piling up in landfills, you start to wonder, what happens when we run out of room? Trying to limit your carbon footprint is noble, but you might be making more waste than you think.

1. Food Goes Bad Before You Can Eat It

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Do you toss out produce, bread, meat, and other food before you get a chance to eat any? If so, it’s time to rethink your grocery shopping strategy. Use the food at home before ordering DoorDash or heading to your favorite restaurant. If you buy in bulk to save money, get items with a long shelf life that you can store properly.

2. You Restock Paper Products Frequently

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If your shopping list always includes paper products, consider making a change. You don’t need to grab a paper towel every time your toddler spills some juice. Nobody loves doing dishes, but serving every meal on disposable tableware isn’t eco-friendly. Switch to reusable, washable rags for cleaning and commit to using your dishes (at least most of the time).

3. You’re Still Receiving Paper Statements And Bills

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It’s the digital age, but you’re still getting bills, statements, and other notices via snail mail. Switch your communication preferences to electronic for as many services as possible. Utilities, insurance, credit cards, banks, and many more companies offer online billing, payment, and access to your documents.

4. Clothes In Your Closet Still Have The Tags

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There’s nothing wrong with loving fashion, but pace yourself when acquiring new attire. If there are several garments in your closet with tags, it’s a clue that you’re buying more than you need. Also, consider shopping in consignment, thrift, or resale boutiques instead of always purchasing things brand new.

5. You Purchase Multiples Of The Same Item

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When you find a shirt you love, do you buy one in every color? If you get a fancy new kitchen gadget, do you pick up an extra “just in case?”  Take a look at the items around your home. If you see multiples, you’re creating more waste than you think. Overconsumption is a big contributor to how much stuff ends up in landfills.

6. You Get Piles Of Junk Mail And Catalogs

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If your mailbox is always stuffed with catalogs, coupons, leaflets, and assorted junk mail, it feels like someone sent you a bunch of trash. Many people toss junk mail straight into the garbage. Check your postal service’s website to learn how to remove your name from mailing lists.

7. You Can’t Wait To Purchase The Latest Tech Gadget

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Are you a tech-head? It’s exciting to snag the latest iPhone or trendy gizmo, even though your current one is perfectly fine. But buying them as soon as they come on the market creates an increased demand for manufacturing and parts, which leads to more waste.

8. You Have Half Empty Water Bottles All Over The Place

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Drinking water is vital to staying healthy, but plastic water bottles aren’t great for the planet’s health. One water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, and many bottles end up in our oceans, harming sea life. Purchase a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated without adding trash to the garbage heap.

9. You Have Oodles Of Plastic Grocery Bags

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Plastic bags are spilling out of your cabinets, pantry, and junk drawers. There are even plastic bags filled with more plastic bags. You might think it’s no big deal since you reuse them as garbage bags. But the more bags you grab from the grocery, the more manufacturers need to make. Therefore, whenever possible, opt for reusable grocery bags instead.

10. Online Shopping Is Your Favorite Pastime

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When you’re bored, you inevitably find yourself scrolling through Amazon or Temu. It’s so easy when your credit card info is saved on the site—just a few clicks and a new package arrives on your porch. Online shopping has made overconsumption even more rampant. To help curb the temptation, delete your info from these sites so it isn’t as easy to make a purchase.

11. You Bag Your Grass Clippings

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Instead of bagging up grass clippings every time you mow, use them as mulch, leave them on the lawn, or top off raised garden beds. These alternatives will keep the clippings and the plastic garbage bags you use to bag them out of the trash.

12. You’re Not Sure Where To Donate Used Items

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You finally decide to get rid of clutter but realize you have no idea where to bring your items. If you’re not sure where to donate gently-used goods, it might be because you throw them out instead. Ask friends, neighbors, or coworkers about nearby donation sites or services that will pick up items from your home.

13. You Forget To Turn Out The Lights Or Shut Off The Water

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Clutter and trash aren’t the only things that contribute to wastefulness. You can also waste things like water and electricity. If you’re constantly walking into an empty room with the lights ablaze, it’s time to get in the habit of flipping off switches. The same goes for turning off faucets all the way and only running water when necessary.

14. You Purchase Packing And Moving Supplies

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If you’re planning to move or need to box up some of your belongings, there’s no need to purchase supplies. Use old newspapers to wrap fragile pieces, and start sourcing boxes from big-box stores, friends, and family members. Your resourcefulness will help save the planet and your wallet.

15. You Use Staples Instead Of Clips

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You probably don’t give a staple too much thought beyond the fact that it’s holding your papers together. But what happens when those papers end up in the trash, or you have to remove the staple before the papers go through the shredder? Use reusable paper clips or binder clips instead.

16. You Buy New Wrapping Supplies

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Instead of buying brand-new wrapping paper or gift bags, get creative with reusable paper products like newspapers, old posters, or wallpaper samples. Reuse the gift bags you receive. After all, isn’t what’s inside the wrapping that matters more? Wrapping paper, ribbons, and other supplies often end up going in the garbage.

17. You Throw Out Old Electronics

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Upgrading to a shiny new phone or computer is exciting, but don’t let your old electronics land in a landfill. If not disposed of properly, these devices contain harmful materials that can pollute the environment. Instead, bring them to a local electronics store that offers a recycling program. This ensures they’re broken down and processed responsibly. Some stores might even give you a credit toward your purchase.

18. You Only Use Disposable Batteries

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Tired of replacing disposable batteries for your remote controls, toys, and radios? Not only is it inconvenient, but throwing them away adds to landfill waste. Switch to rechargeable batteries. They’re a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice. You’ll save money in the long run and reduce your environmental impact by eliminating the need for constant disposal.

5 Signs Of Mold In Your Air Ducts

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Mold thrives in air ducts when warm temperatures and moisture are present. A warm, humid environment provides the most suitable conditions for mold to flourish. Poor ventilation traps moisture in the walls, causing condensation. As a result, mold forms on the ductwork. Here are some of the HVAC issues that may contribute to mold growth.

11 Steps To Fix A Messy Garage

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You’re not alone if you want to start organizing your garage, but where to begin? What you need is a game plan. A solid plan makes the task much more manageable. Use these 11 tips as a checklist to stay on track and focused on the project.