Most of us don’t realize how much waste we create throughout the course of a normal day. Add a family or multiple people in the household on top of that and you are doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling that amount. Unless you live a zero-waste lifestyle, chances are you’ve got some room for improvement when it comes to waste management in your home.

Though the idea may seem a little overwhelming at first, there are plenty of simple changes you can make on a daily basis to easily reduce the waste produced in your home. Read on to find out what you can start doing today to better manage your waste.

Recycle Properly
Everyone knows that recycling is beneficial to the environment, but, are you doing it at home? And also, do you know exactly what to recycle and what to throw away?

Even if you accidentally toss a little bit of unrecyclable material into your recycling bin, it could contaminate the entire thing and will cause the whole load to get sent to the landfill. Become very familiar with the items you can and can not recycle to ensure that all of your garbage is going to the landfill and all of your recyclables are actually getting recycled.

Ditch the Paper Plates and Plastic Bags
Paper plates and plastic bags are becoming things of the past as we realize how detrimental to our environment they are. Instead of using paper plates, opt for dishes that can be washed and reused.

There are a wide variety of reusable grocery bags available in most grocery stores at this point so the next time you go shopping, pick up a few instead of using plastic bags!

Create a Meal Plan
Food waste is a huge issue in America that many don’t take into consideration. Did you know that 40% of food purchased goes uneaten and end up in the landfills? Creating a meal plan can help to ensure that the food you are buying and preparing actually gets eaten, reducing the overall waste produced by your household. Make sure you are only buying groceries you know you will eat. If you think something might sit too long in your fridge and expire before you get to it, wait until the next grocery trip to buy it.

Start a Compost Bin
Reducing food waste brings us to our next suggestion: composting. If you do have food that goes uneaten, instead of throwing it away try your hand at creating a compost bin. You simply buy a bin lined with “brown materials” such as paper or cardboard to store your food waste in and it will break down into beneficial nutrients that can be added to your or your neighbors garden. If the smell turns you off, add coffee grounds to your bin and it will help reduce the odor.

Acquire Reusable Containers
Reusable containers like mason jars can be taken to farmers markets and used as storage containers for your food and even your leftovers. Glass is best as buying plastic containers is another source of waste as they break easily or get lost and thrown away.

Repair Your Things Instead of Throwing Them Away
Instead of throwing away a piece of furniture with a broken leg, can you fix the leg? Or, is there anyone else you know that may be able to fix it or want it for themselves? Choosing to repair or even upcycle furniture that is broken or out of date gives you a chance to embrace your creative side and see what you can do!

Cancel Any Unnecessary Mail
Mail is a huge source of waste that is completely unnecessary. You can start by taking your name off of certain mailing lists to prevent junk mail from being sent to your home. A forewarning, it can take up 90 days for it to stop being sent to your home.

Taking small steps is the best way to create long-lasting change. Don’t feel like you have to jump into doing everything at once unless you feel like you’re ready for that. Choose a couple waste-management tactics from this list and try them out!