This is a really interesting question. If we really considered how much we throw away in the course of a day, we’d be horrified. In 2018, National Geographic shared that the US produced 250 million tons of trash which equated to 4.4 pounds of trash per person and per day. Clearly, the environment is staggering under the weight of debris, garbage, and pollutants. We often adopt the mindset that “someone else will do it,” when the reality is — it starts with each individual. After all, nothing changes if nothing changes.
- Some obvious things to eliminate trash include:
- Buy fresh food instead of processed foods that requires packaging.
- Make your own cleaning products and laundry detergent.
- Take your own containers to restaurants for leftovers rather than using one of their styrofoam containers.
- Compost your leftovers.
- Use glass containers instead of plastic.
At Lael Homes, we know our industry can create a lot of waste. But we do care about the footprint on the environment and we have identified some ways to offset excess trash at a construction site. Those things include:
Don’t throw out the old cabinets, but donate them. Habitat for Humanity accepts those kinds of things, but other non-profits or even childcare centers may love to have old cabinets for storage or other projects.
Repurpose old furniture. It’s a popular trend these days to repaint and repurpose old furniture. Kelly Lael, as the interior design expert of Lael Homes, has the creative ingenuity to help create a vision. After all, why can’t the guts of that ancient TV set be removed and turned into a great storage cabinet or even repurposed into a kitchen playset for a child or grandchild?
Recycle the corrugate. New appliances and hardware may come in protective, heavy duty cardboard but it can all be recycled.
Consider remnants for smaller space. If you don’t need a lot of tile, let Kelly help you pick out some beautiful, high quality remnant pieces. These pieces are often leftovers that may be out of the packaging, but that means you won’t have additional packaging to throw away.
Eat out, don’t take out. When the kitchen is being remodeled, and you don’t really have a functional place to prepare a meal, pizza delivery seems ideal. But those boxes add up. Consider eating out simply as an effort to reduce trash versus the packaging that comes with food delivery.
Invest in LED lighting. They last longer, they save energy, and they save money. They may not be contributing to the landfill the way other refuse does, but when you have a lightbulb that lasts 25 times longer than a standard incandescent light bulb, yes — it can make an environmental impact.
When it comes to waste, we all have a responsibility to do our part and be mindful of the environment. At Lael Homes, we’ve done green construction, and know how even the smallest choices can yield huge results.