Zero Waste in Real Life: Including Zero Waste Pioneers You Won’t Believe

trashcan

The Trash Problem

The EPA reports that in 2012 Americans disposed of about 251 million tons of solid waste; that’s almost 4.5 pounds per person per day. A little more than a third of this waste was recycled or composted, leaving 164 million tons to go to landfills and incinerators.

All that trash began as life-supporting raw materials. Once it hits the landfill or incinerator most of those resources are no longer useable by us, so we need to mine or harvest more. Disposable plastics require the extraction of ever more petroleum products, at a mounting fiscal and environmental cost. Disposable paper products accelerate the pace of deforestation.

5 Household Wastes You Should Be Recycling in the Garden

Recycling for the Garden

Garden Recycling: Using Household Wastes to Build Soil and Repel Pests

One of the satisfactions of gardening is the ability to work sustainably and close loops. Instead of just buying inputs and discarding wastes, gardeners can reuse discarded materials, reducing both cost and waste.

Compost is the primary example of this recycling. Some household discards also have more specialized uses in the garden. And, some don’t even have to be composted to utilize their thrown away nutrients. Here are five household wastes to recycle in the garden and how to use them: