“What the heck do I do about garbage bags?!”

This is a tough one. They’re always there, staring you in the face, in all their thin, unrecyclable glory. We know they’re plastic, but what alternatives are out there, really?

Many times the reaction is to switch to “biodegradable” or “compostable” plastic bags. But, as we’ve discussed, those bags really aren’t all that much better. (See Day 5 Food Containers)

So, what's an Eco-Maverick to do?

My first suggestion is to think about what you're putting in your garbage bags. We talked last month about a trash audit to see what you're actually throwing away and ways to cut back on that waste.

Mostly food scraps and compostable paper products? Try composting…it will save you a ton in terms of waste.

And, you're in luck! Aquidneck Island has access to residential composting and it couldn't be easier. It costs as little as $10 per month, including a free composting bin, for at-home pickup every other week.

Simply load the bin with approved compostable items, put the bin out on the curb…like your trash bins…to be picked up and emptied.

I mean…come on…what could be easier for you and better for the planet! You can find all of the information you need @cleanoceanaccess.

Go to their website. Sign up for composting. DO. IT. NOW.

What about those things that are not compostable?

Try reusing the plastic bags you already bring home. Things like bread bags, chip bags, pet food bags. Rather than throwing them away, keep them to use as a trash bag. Even if there is only room for today's trash, you are only going to throw it away anyway.

Because here's the thing. The plastic manufacturers have convinced us (yep, you and me, babe, and we're the smart ones!) that some bags are intended to be used as trash bags, while others are intended to go IN the trash bags we purchase.

Evil Geniuses!

So, to cut back on waste, particularly plastic waste, start by reusing instead of disposing.

Because, if your sink is overflowing, don't grab the mop first, turn off the faucet!