What the Heck is a Trash Audit?!

It's exactly as it sounds! You look and take note of what you're throwing away and then make some realistic changes from there! Maybe at first make changes to one single room and slowly start moving around the house to all the various rooms. Go from kitchen to the bathrooms to office to outside!

Are you trying to reduce your waste but you're unsure of where to start? A trash audit is a great way to see what you're throwing out and maybe where you can improve! Then you're able to apply some realistic and achievable goals!

You can find some fancy trash audit spreadsheets, but to be honest, you don't really need them! Just get out a piece of scrap paper and a pen, gather up all of your garbage cans and take a look!

So lets get to the nitty-gritty!

I would recommend to write down what room the garbage can is in and then you will list what items you have in that garbage can.

For instance, you are conducting an audit in your restroom and you have 20 q-tips and 2 bottles of shampoo, and 30 tissues. Then evaluate what you feel like would be some realistic replacements to those items. Maybe your husband refuses to use a silicone swab so you decide it's not a doable option for you all at that time but handkerchiefs and shampoo bars are. Those are the swaps that you AND your family can do at this moment. You might also rethink what options you might for your cotton swabs. If you are using swabs with plastic then switch to either bamboo or regular cotton swabs and compost them instead of throwing them out!

So you might not find reusable replacements for the items, but maybe even rethink what you can do with them besides throwing them out! You might want to divide them into "composting" section or "recycle" section!

The kitchen is generally the hardest one since that's where most of our waste comes from! From food waste, wrappers, food containers to paper towels! So, what is realistic for your family? Maybe composting food intimidates you so you want to start with a replacement for paper towels. An easy swap for paper towels is rags or if you want to be fancy you can use an unpaper towel!

Here's the breakdown of how to do a trash audit!

  1. Pick a room that you want to reduce waste in.

  2. List what is in the garbage can.

  3. Categorize it as what can be recycled, reused, replaced with reusables, or composted.

  4. Slowly make changes and proceed to different rooms!

Slow and steady wins the race!

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