How often in a day do you throw something away? You probably couldn’t begin to even imagine all the little things you’ve thrown away in your lifetime. In a world where everything you buy is disposable, the garbage can has become an amenity that most Americans couldn’t imagine being without.

However, it may be helpful to consider the following: In what ways do landfills negatively impact the environment? According to an article by, decomposing materials in a landfill can pollute the air with methane, which “traps up to 20 times more heat in the atmosphere compared with carbon dioxide.” Landfills also contribute to groundwater pollution, a loss of biodiversity, and even cause detrimental health effects in humans.

The EPA’s website states that in 2013, America “generated about 254 million tons of trash,” and recycled/composted roughly 34% of waste. While the percentage of recycled materials may be higher than it has been in the past, we could still do more to discourage the accumulation of waste in our landfills.

Recycling has many benefits: According to the EPA, it can “conserve natural resources,” decrease pollution, and helps employ people within the recycling industry.

So, what are some ways that you can lessen the amount of waste you produce?

· Start composting.

· Bring your own non-plastic bags to the grocery store.

· Check to make sure something is recyclable before throwing it away.

· Buy products that are reusable.

There are just a few of the many ways we can reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills, but hopefully these ideas are enough to get you started.

To share your stories about recycling or becoming more environmentally friendly, please contact me a bentleqp@mail.uc.ecd.

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