The average human being will create 102 tons of trash in his/her lifetime. But why be average? Here are 10 ways you can maximize the amount of trash you produce.
1. Only drink water out of single-use bottles. You should be drinking 64 ounces of water each day, and if you can drink all of that out of 12-ounce plastic bottles, you can throw away five bottles per day, or almost 2,000 bottles per year! Unless of course you recycle all five bottles you drink every day (but who has the discipline for that?). Bonus points if you only drink out of those tiny little 8-ounce bottles (and throw away eight per day)!
2. Eat as many individually-wrapped foods as possible: Fun Size candy bars, hard candies, tiny bottles of Sunny Delight, one-ounce plastic containers of coffee “creamer,” the sky’s the limit. Why buy one (recyclable) 38-ounce bottle of ketchup when you could use 119 ketchup packets?
3. Instead of dental floss, use dental floss picks. One per day is probably adequate, but if you use one for your bottom row of teeth and a separate one for your bottom row of teeth—or better yet, one pick for each space in between your teeth (approximately 30 total)—you can throw away way more of them.
4. Throw away recyclables. All those plastic jars of peanut butter can be recycled into something else—but if you throw them in the trash, they can sit in a landfill while we spend millions of dollars to find petroleum so we can produce more plastic jars! If you throw away all the paper and cardboard you can instead of recycling it so it can be used to make more paper and cardboard, we can cut down more trees!
5. Forget your reusable grocery bags in the car every time you go to the supermarket.
6. Always get a bag for every single purchase you make. Sure, you carried that can of refried beans all the way up to the cash register even though you didn’t have a plastic bag to carry it in, but now how in the hell are you supposed to get it home? That’s right, a plastic bag, with handles. Isn’t that better?
7. Don’t use a reusable coffee mug. Get a cardboard cup, lid and sleeve, even if you’re going to sit at a table 20 feet from the barista and drink it all before you leave. If you order one latte per day, you can throw away an automobile-sized pile of cups and lids every year.
8. Buy things in small quantities only: Don’t get a 17-ounce bag of Doritos when you could get 10 1.75-ounce bags.
9. Eat only processed foods. Sure, you could cook, but why would you when you can eat pre-cooked, pre-packaged burritos, burgers, and sandwiches? Check out the selection at your nearest 7-Eleven. Three meals per day = three wrappers you could be throwing away. Imagine the pile of wrappers you could create!
10. Only drink out of straws. Really, every other method of moving liquids into your esophagus is inferior. What are you supposed to do, pour a glass of water into your mouth like an adult? Ask for a straw. Then throw it away when you’re done. Get a box of straws for your house, so you can use them for everything. But don’t use them more than once. Don’t limit yourself to pure “drinks,” either—you can use straws for plenty of other things: applesauce, soup, queso.
11. Chew gum. There’s no nutritional value, and when you’re finished chewing it, you have a small piece of garbage. When you’re done with your gum, stick your gum to the bottom of a restaurant table, or throw it onto a city sidewalk, where in a few weeks, if it hasn’t stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe, it will turn into a beautiful black spot.