If you are looking for a way to go green, the answer could be as close as your own kitchen.  Food waste and packaging make up a surprisingly large portion of many landfills, and by recycling and composting what you throw away you can keep that trash out of landfills and help the environment.


Recycling and composting your garbage can also help you save some green. In many parts of the country garbage collection fees are based on the number of bags that hit the curb every week, so reducing the amount you throw away could save you a significant amount of money over the course of a year.


Compost and Save

One of the most effective ways to help the environment while reducing the amount of garbage that flows from your home to the local landfill is to build or buy a compost bin. If you are handy with tools you can build a backyard compost bin for only a few dollars.  Or if you prefer you can purchase a kitchen compost bin that will turn your vegetable peels and other food scraps into a rich soil that is perfect for your garden.


When composting your garbage it is important to know what can – and cannot – go into the compost pile.  Vegetable peels like banana skins, apple peelings and orange rinds are perfect for the compost pile.  Meat scraps, bones and other animal based products are not.  By sorting your garbage and directing the appropriate items to the compost pile you can reduce the amount of waste your family produces significantly, all while getting some top quality soil.  You may be so inspired by the bounty that you decide to put in a vegetable garden.


Recycle and Reuse

Recycling is another important part of going green, and in order for recycling initiatives to work every member of the community needs to do their part.  If your municipality offers a curbside recycling program, be sure to take advantage of it by finding out exactly what can – and cannot – be recycled.


If the town you live in does not currently have a recycling program in place you can lobby for its introduction.  In the meantime you can gather your cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and other recyclable materials and take them to a recycling centre.  Not only will you be doing a great thing for the environment, but you may also pick up a few dollars along the way.


If you do not feel like carting your recyclables away on your own, chances are you will be able to find someone who is willing to take those items off your hands.  Many charities collect plastic and aluminium for the scrap value, so simply advertising that you have these items available is often enough to get them picked up.  You can advertise for free through a number of outlets, including Craigslist and the popular Freecycle network.


No matter how you slice it, recycling and composting makes sense.  It makes sense for the environment, it makes sense for your household, and it makes sense for your wallet.  Making only a few minor changes can save you a great deal of money – and possibly even save the environment.