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The Best Way To Start Your Family's Sustainable Journey

So you want to lead a more sustainable life but you don't know where to start. Let The Trash Pirates help you! First, let's define what a sustainable life means. According to, living sustainably means to make choices, "that aim to reduce our individual and collective environmental impact by making positive changes to offset climate change and reduce environmental damage." That sounds overwhelming, for sure! Where do you start when you want to make lasting change? The first and most important thing you need to do before deciding on changes you and your family can make is to know where your problems are. In this article we will focus solely on discussing the big issue of trash and waste. Let me introduce to you our Trash Audit! This is a simple step to figure out where most of your trash is coming from and where you can reduce waste. Below is a printable spreadsheet (please print on both sides of the paper) where you can write down what is in your trash right now. Is it full of plastics that can't be recycled? Maybe it's food that could be composted. You'll list the name of each item you find in the first column. Next you'll do your best to identify what that item is made of. Is it plastic, paper-based, or maybe it's made of multiple materials and that's why it can't be recycled? In the third column, if applicable, you'll write a more sustainable replacement for that item. For example, if you have multi-layered plastic food wrapper, maybe next time you could make that food from scratch or find it in a compostable wrapper. Finally, you can make any notes you think are important in the final column. Maybe you want to note that there was a lot of that item or its an item you almost never buy. Take some time today to evaluate your trash and fill out a trash audit form. See where you can make changes to become more sustainable. And don't forget to do this trash audit on your recycling as well! Recycling is wonderful but we should reduce it as much as possible too by reusing or buying less.

Trash Audit Printable PDF:

Family Trash Audit
Download PDF • 428KB



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