Who really wants to contribute to our growing landfills? There are things we toss away everyday that make up the bulk of our trash and they don’t even belong in our garbage bins. Here are Terri’s Top 7 Ways to Be Less Trashy so you can get started today.

1) Recycle That Paperboard!

Paperboard one of the biggest problems when it comes to our landfills. It’s the thin cardboard packaging that holds so many of the items we buy – think cereal boxes, packaging for toys, and even tissue boxes. Nearly all curbside recycling programs accept paperboard. There is one major exception. Paperboard with food waste (think pizza boxes!) usually aren’t.

2) Paper is Valuable

Do you recycle all the paper that comes into your home? You know – school work, junk mail, magazines and the like? Remember, ALL paper is recyclable and that includes those envelopes with the plastic window that many of us don’t know what to do with. The general rule for paper is that if it’s free of food waste, it can go in the recycling bin.

3) Don’t Waste the Leftovers

It might shock you to find out that a third of what goes in our trash bags is food. It could be food that’s gone bad in the fridge or leftovers we scrape off our plates. Instead of letting it go to rot in a landfill, consider composting it instead. Click here to see how you can start your own composting routine and create the perfect free food for your lawn and garden.

4) Give Electronics a Second Life

E-waste is the fastest growing disposal problem in this country. Electronics contain dangerous heavy metals that should never be sent to the landfill. Click here to see how to give working items a second life by selling or donating them. Non-working items should be taken to a qualified recycling center near you.

5) Reuse, Reuse, Reuse!

Don’t trash what you can reuse. Whether you turn baby food jars into paint containers, milk cartons into bird feeders, or this year’s holiday cards into next year’s gift tags – there are plenty of ways to get creative with things that might ordinarily wind up in the trash. This goes for sporting equipment, too. There are many shops that specialize in selling gently worn and used items and you can also sell everything from old cleats to soccer balls to treadmills.

6) What Are You (Not) Wearing?

Well cared for clothes hold a lot of value and can be sold to other parents in consignment shops or online sites such as eBay. If you’re looking to donate them, consider Goodwill, Salvation Army, battered women’s shelters, or Dress for Success programs. And get this, clothes that may be torn or unwearable but not contaminated with chemicals, can still be donated to Goodwill. They are sold to recyclers to be used for things like sofa stuffing.

7) Don’t Shop For Trash

Think twice before buying items such as paper plates, bottles of water, and food in individual serving sizes. There are less trashy options such as renting extra party supplies, buying in bulk, and using reusable containers. That way, those items don’t spend decades waiting to decompose in our landfills.