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7 Steps to Reduce Trash and Help Save the Environment

Updated on August 26, 2013
Pile of garbage bags
Pile of garbage bags

Trash not only makes a place to look unsightly, but it also turns that place into a health threat. Picking up some garbage is an easy way for anyone to help save the environment. Here are 7 easy steps you could take to reduce the trash polluting our beautiful planet.

#1 Stop Polluting

You have no excuse to throw trash on the ground or on any other place not meant for garbage. Just keep your trash in hand for a little while until you find a garbage bin.

When traveling with own vehicle, make sure your luggage is properly secured and nothing can fall out. Always clean your truck bed from loose litter before hitting the road.

If you are a business owner, make sure your employees and clients have easy-to-access trash containers. Also, keep your outdoor dumpsters empty to ensure litter won't be blown out of the containers. Carried by wind, trash can travel a long way from its source.

Proper waste management will also help to reduce the trash you throw away.

#2 Avoid Processed Food and Packed Items

Use reusable containers to store food, water or other beverages. Rather than spending money on packaged snack or dessert, buy some really tasty fruit.

#3 Recruit Other People to Your Cause of Reducing Trash

Explain them how bad littering is, and what we can do to reduce it. Even a small group of people can change the world. Encourage them to work together and pick up as much trash as possible. Be sure the environment will appreciate that.

#4 Start Picking Up Trash

You can do this either solo or with friends. Don't be embarrassed to pick up a piece of trash while getting a walk. Many people think collecting garbage is disgusting and disgraceful, but what truly is disgusting and disgraceful is the litter itself. By picking up trash, you not only help save the environment, but you also help yourself to feel better. If we all do a little to keep the environment clean, it would really make a difference.

#5 Picking Up Trash Solo

When cleaning solo, you can pick up trash on the way to work or school if you are walking to there. Even if it is uncommon in your community people to collect trash while getting a walk, do that and eventually other will follow your leads. You could take different routes from time to time to give an example to as many people as possible. DO NOT pick up litter from private properties unless you've become friends with the owners. Be aware that it is a private property and you have no legal right to do whatever it is without the knowledge of the owners. If some pile of garbage has drown your attention then try to strike up a friendly conversation and gently explain the owners about the bad effect of litter. Do not become pushy, angry or rude as this won't lead to anything good.

#6 Organize Informal Litter Picking Party

Gather a few friends and together clean up a littered area by your choice. Once the area is cleaned, have participants meet at your home for a drink or meal.

#7 Involve Colleagues and Community Members

Suggest to your colleagues at work, or community members you belong to, to join you for an afternoon cleaning. Explain them this might be a worthwhile community service activity. Pick a small area for the project, so it doesn't take more than an hour to clean it up. Otherwise, people might start complaining how much time or work the cleaning has took. Motivate the participants by turning the trash picking into a game. Suggest a prize to the one who collects the largest number of pieces or the most unusual trash. The prize could be a free beverage, a ticket for a particular event, or anything else that would make a person happy.

Picking up trash can be discouraging at the beginning but don't give up. First steps are always the hardest. Stay focused, and soon you will see the results. Collecting litter early in the morning to avoid midday swelter, as often as possible, and before the grass is mowed are all things that will make your job easier.

  Volunteers from Old Mill School celebrate Earth Day by picking up trash in the Plaza
Volunteers from Old Mill School celebrate Earth Day by picking up trash in the Plaza

Do you pick up trash?

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© 2013 Amelia Cole


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