N.O.W. idea #22: Track Your Trash

The first step to reducing waste is analyzing your trash. When you’re aware of what goes into your bin, you can find ways to keep more things out of it. Try tracking your trash for one week, and go from there. I’m usually one for making notes on my phone, but in this case the easiest way is to keep a piece of scratch paper and a pen by the trash can and list everything that goes in (recyclable or not).


At the end of the week, analyze your list. Which things popped up the most? Are there any items you’re able (and willing) to reduce? Maybe it’s coffee cups. Can you bring your own mug? Maybe it’s razors. Have you considered one with a reusable handle? Maybe it’s water bottles. Do you know about plastic-free filters? Maybe it’s food scraps. What about starting a compost pile? Maybe it’s those cute little green strawberry baskets. Try leaving them at the store and bringing your berries home in a jar. Or maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about cutting back on anyway…


I was very interested in analyzing our trash when I first started Near-O Waste. Over the past two years we’ve adopted reusables, unpackaged food, composting, and minimalism; all of which have reduced our trash output significantly. So… what’s in *your* can?

3 thoughts on “N.O.W. idea #22: Track Your Trash

  1. ecosjop October 31, 2016 / 11:21 am

    This is also a brilliant way to reduse trash! Personally I search for alternatives every time I empty something and throw the package away.


  2. Nadine November 2, 2016 / 2:25 am

    I am starting to practice this with my Grade 2s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste November 3, 2016 / 12:13 am

      Awesome, I should totally do this too!


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