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Reduce Household Waste To Improve Home Energy Use

Aug 12, 2021

Reduce Household Waste To Improve Home Energy Use

An estimated 55 to 65% of all municipal solid waste (MSW) in the US is produced by households. The staggering amount of waste that homes produce is worrying, with more than half of it ending up in landfills. Dumping garbage has several environmental repercussions, including leachate, toxic waste, and methane gas emissions. However, more optimistically, reducing household waste can conserve space in landfills, decrease pollution levels, and save money. More importantly, it can even improve your energy use at home, avoiding the unnecessary use of power that depletes non-renewable resources.

Buy Food That You Can Consume

One of the biggest sources of household waste is food scraps. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that food waste accounts for 30-40% of the food supply. Water, electricity and labor are some of the inputs used in the production, processing, transportation, and marketing of food. One of the ways to cut down on household waste is to only buy food that you will eat. If you purchase more, you are likely to require more energy to power up your fridge. This means that your cooling units must work harder to keep the food that you buy fresh.

Unfortunately, your electricity consumption will initially spike when you put large quantities of food into your fridge. If not consumed, you end up throwing away leftovers that can negatively impact the environment and your wallet. Therefore, it makes sense to only purchase food that you can realistically consume in order to avoid waste and improve energy usage in your appliances. Encouraging your children to make sure that they’re energy safe and energy aware is important too. Making sure they shut the fridge and freezer doors properly when foraging for snacks is one way.

Make Use Of A Compost Pit

Regrettably, it is unavoidable to have food scraps and waste. Although it is difficult to consume all the parts of your fruits and vegetables, you can reduce the amount that you send to the landfills by making a compost pit. Fruits and vegetable peels, egg shells, grass clippings, and leaves can all be made into compost. While it is true that it takes time and effort to compost (which will probably take anywhere from 3-12 months), the rewards are completely worth it.

The soil benefits from the rich organic matter produced by the compost pit, reducing the need for fertilizer. If you’re planting your own vegetables, you don’t need to water as often because composting helps retain moisture and ward off plant diseases and pest infestations. Perhaps, the biggest benefit of composting is that you can even produce your own biogas energy using a homemade biogas generator. When food and yard waste breaks down, methane and carbon dioxide are produced, collecting as biogas, which is a source of renewable energy. It can be used as fuel to cook your food, reducing electricity consumption. On a large scale, it can generate methane gas and electricity to power buildings or run vehicles. It is also possible to heat your home by installing tubes within the compost pile with water running through a loop coil heating system. The heated water continues through your pipes, where it is consumed as hot water or to warm up a space.

Cutting back on the amount of household waste that you produce is feasible. By shopping smartly and composting at home, you can lower your energy consumption, saving you money while reducing pollution and protecting the environment.