Americans produce an average of 4.6 pounds of trash each day, dumping more than 251 million tons of trash each year into our 1,745 landfills. Restricting what goes into our landfills requires the 3-R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. While recycling is the most public of them and it makes sense economically and environmentally, the first two R’s are just as important.
Looking at it simply, what we don’t acquire, we don’t have to dispose of later. There are some simple ways to do that.
1) Use reusable cloth grocery bags when you go to the grocery store and you won’t end up with the bottom of your pantry stuffed with old plastic bags.
2) Refill those water bottles or, better yet, just keep a refillable one with you. That has the added benefit of making it more likely that you will drink more water.
3) Buy cleaning supplies in bulk and refill those old spray bottles. The larger sizes use less packaging per fluid ounce of cleaner.
Additionally, These food wastes from landfills leak into our groundwater and release the greenhouse gas called methane. There are municipal composting facilities all over North America. Seabrook composts yard waste and refuse from the equestrian center but can’t really handle any more. Perhaps when Charleston County’s new facility opens next year, we can do better.
There are hundreds of ways to keep things from ever getting into our waste stream. Let’s keep Seabrook beautiful.
Submitted by Rich Siegel, Waste and Recycling
SIPOA Environmental Committee