Did you know that the average American creates almost 5 pounds of trash every day? That adds up to almost 1,800 pounds of garbage a year, a large amount of which goes straight to the landfill. Overall, the U.S. creates around 300 million tons of garbage in a year. That’s a significant amount, and much of it comes from packaging and other goods that we only use briefly before throwing them away.
Instead of using these disposable products, there are other options. Sustainable living means incorporating various practices that help you reduce your impact on the environment. This includes recycling, reducing the number of disposal products you use, and reusing what you can. Individuals and businesses can both implement sustainable living practices. Junk King does our part, too—we recycle whatever we can, plus we work with local transfer stations where garbage is used as fuel for energy-producing plants.
What can you do to be sustainable? Let’s look at some of the ways you can reduce your overall carbon footprint and how Junk King can help.
Who Should Look into Reducing Waste Via Sustainable Practices?
Sustainable living is for everyone. While there can be some barriers to sustainability, almost everyone can make at least a few changes to their lifestyle to incorporate some sustainable practices. In some cases, money does play a part—you may not be able to choose to work with companies that use sustainable manufacturing due to limited finances. In other cases, availability may be an issue.
However, just by making a few small changes, you can help reduce the amount of waste you create. For example, the city of Minneapolis offers residential recycling. All you have to do is put your recycling container out on the correct day. This is a very simple way of recycling, although you do want to make certain you’re only putting the correct materials in the recycling bin.
Businesses and manufacturers can also implement sustainable practices. For some businesses, this simply means recycling what they can and reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills. For others, it may mean changing how they manufacture products or what packaging they use. In some cases, it may cost a little bit more to use green practices. In other cases, however, it may actually save you money. Even if you spend more, you often come out ahead because you’ll attract customers who want to work with companies that protect the environment.
How can you reduce your waste and protect the environment? Here are a few of the easiest ways.
As we just mentioned, recycling is incredibly easy. Just toss the right items into your city recycling bin and put it out for collection. For businesses, it may not be quite so simple. However, there are recycling companies you can work with to reduce how much trash you create. Many businesses end up with a huge amount of cardboard from boxes, for example, that can easily be recycled. Many other materials, including plastics, glass, and wood, can potentially be recycled.
Junk King helps reduce waste through recycling, too. We recycle as much as we possibly can, which is why we sort out materials once we pick them up. Anything that we can pass on to one of our recycling partners gets pulled out. Whatever we have left is taken to a transfer station, where it’s used as fuel.
What about those items that can’t easily be recycled? In some cases, you may be able to reuse them. This also helps reduce the amount of waste created because you’re not buying new products. You’re not taking more natural resources out of circulation.
While you can’t reuse everything, there are a good number of products that can be reused. Empty bottles can be filled with other items or even used as planters by cutting the tops off. You can use them to start seeds or for growing herbs indoors. Plastic bags from the store can be used to line small trashcans. Old shirts can be cut apart to make rags or, if you’re crafty, used in a number of projects.
Some of these items can, of course, eventually be recycled. What about things that can’t be? If you have treated wood from old furniture, it can’t easily be recycled. However, you may be able to use it to build something new. Mirrors typically can’t be recycled, either, but you may find some artists who are willing to take them off your hands. In fact, artists are often willing to take items that can’t be recycled because they can upcycle them into their art. Check with local artists, art teachers, and local college art departments to see if they want any broken items that aren’t recyclable.
Buy Sustainable Products
While recycling and reusing items are great, the ideal goal is to stop buying as many new things as possible. Sustainable products that can be used over and over reduce the number of new products you use. This not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also reduces the amount of money you spend. Investing in a reusable water bottle, for example, means you no longer purchase bottled water. This will save you a good amount of money over the years, plus you’re not putting that plastic in the landfill or through the recycling process, which does use fuel. There are many other sustainable products you can purchase, including fabric shopping bags, metal straws, and even reusable food bags that replace plastic baggies.
Businesses can buy sustainable products, too. You can do what you can to reduce the amount of plastic used in your products or repair wooden pallets instead of throwing them away. If you manufacture products, look at how much packaging is used and reduce it if possible. Look for vendors or suppliers that use reduced packaging or green production methods to further decrease your carbon footprint.
You can also encourage your customers to use more sustainable products by stocking them. You can offer a small discount for those who bring their own shopping bags or purchase one of your branded reusable bags. Many customers are now actively seeking out businesses that use sustainable practices and avoiding those that do not, so you may even see your customer base grow.
How Junk King Promotes Sustainability
Junk King does everything possible to keep things out of the landfill. We’ve already discussed how we recycle as much as we possibly can. We’re able to recycle many items that the city recycling won’t take. For example, we’ll take large appliances and other items that contain recyclable materials. We also pull aside furniture, appliances, and other items that are in good condition and pass them on to local organizations that help those in need. If you have old furniture that’s still in good condition, don’t worry—we will do our best to ensure that it doesn’t go to the dump.
In addition to taking furniture and appliances, we also handle electronics. Many recycling facilities won’t take e-waste because it requires a specific process. Phones, computers, and even televisions have a variety of different metals in them, all of which need to be carefully removed and recycled using the correct process for that material. Many also contain lithium batteries and other things that could be hazardous, so they have to be handled carefully. Junk King Minnesota will take electronics and pass them along to the proper recycling partners.
What Will Junk King Haul Away?
Junk King takes a wide variety of different items. We will haul away just about anything that will fit in our trucks, including furniture, appliances, trash, storm debris, mattresses, and old hot tubs. The only thing we’re not able to take is hazardous waste. It presents a danger to our crews, so we have to leave that to the experts. If you aren’t certain if something is hazardous, please ask. We may be able to refer you to a hazardous waste expert or tell you what you need to do to make the item safe for disposal. Paint, for example, is considered hazardous, but if you mix it with cat litter or other solidifying material, we can haul it away.
How Does the Process Work?
The first step in working with Junk King is to contact us. You can call, send us a text, or book online. Provide us with as much detail as possible about what you need us to haul away so we can give you an accurate quote. In some cases, such as with big jobs or with unique items, we may need to do an in-person quote. Regardless, we will always do a final evaluation of the job before we start so you know exactly what the cost will be. All of our quotes are provided for free, include all charges and fees, and carry no obligation.
Whether it’s a single old chair or an entire house, Junk King is here for you. Give us a call today at 1-888-888-JUNK or send us a text to 1-737-888-5865 and say goodbye to the junk that’s taking up space in your home or office.