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King County EcoConsumer - a natural balance of consuming and conserving
King County EcoConsumer – a natural balance of consuming and conserving  

EcoConsumer Waste Calculator

waste calculator

Our everyday actions and decisions have a direct impact on the amount of waste generated in King County and Washington State. Even a simple act like discarding a disposable water bottle becomes much more significant when we all do it. Changing your behavior and encouraging others to prevent waste can make a difference.

What's the impact or your purchasing decisions? Enter your personal or household data and select either King County or Washington State. Then click the "Calculate" button and watch what happens county or state-wide.

Note: These figures are based on readily available population figures and other data derived from public sources. The resulting figures are estimates, based on a series of assumptions, and are meant to illustrate the potential impact of our personal activities.

You can measure your impact for the following items:


Paper Towels

Paper Towels

Paper towels are everywhere. We use them at home, in the workplace, and in public restrooms. Sure, they’re convenient, but reusable cloth rags, dishcloths, hand towels, and sponges can often do the same job.

I use a paper towel    times per week.

   

If everyone used paper towels this often, here’s how many tons would be discarded each year:

Resources for reducing paper towel waste

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Magazines and Catalogs

Magazines and Catalogs

Magazines and catalogs can stack up in your home before you even realize it. You choose to receive some, but others simply arrive in the mail. Recycling is great, but preventing them from reaching you is even better. Review your subscriptions and cancel those you don’t have time to read. Contact catalog companies and ask them to remove your name from their mailing lists. Also use the Catalog Choice and DMA Choice services.

My household receives   magazines and catalogs per month.

   

If everyone received this many magazines and catalogs, here’s how many tons of paper would be discarded each year:

Resources for reducing magazine and catalog waste

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Trash Bags

Trash Bags

Do you buy trash bags? Save money and reduce waste by reusing grocery and other types of bags that might otherwise be thrown away. If you have to buy trash bags, consider purchasing ones made with recycled plastic.

We use   trash bags each week.

   

If every household used this many trash bags, here’s how many tons would be discarded each year:

Resources for reducing trash bag waste

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Razors

Razors

Razors are part of many people's daily routine. You probably buy, use, and discard razors or razor heads repeatedly throughout the year. Using electric razors or reusable razors can reduce waste and save you money. Also, look for razors with less packaging. While these items may seem too small to worry about, consider what happens to our waste stream when everyone discards these items.

We use:
disposable razors
a reusable razor with disposable heads

We discard   razors or razor heads each month.

   

If every household did this, here’s how many tons of waste would be generated every year:

Resources for reducing razor waste

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Newspapers

Newspapers

Keep newspapers out of landfills by recycling. Another way to reduce waste and save money is to read the news online. Much of the content of most major papers is available at no charge on the Internet. You can read many newspapers online, including the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

We buy newspapers Monday through Saturday.

We also buy a Sunday newspaper each week
We DO NOT buy a Sunday newspaper each week

   

If everyone did this, here’s how many tons of waste would be generated every year:

Resources for reducing newspaper waste

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Dry Cleaner Products

Dry Cleaner Products

Every time you pick up an item from the dry cleaner, you bring home plastic dry cleaning bags and wire hangers. Choose a cleaner that offers reusable bags. Return hangers for recycling. Ask your cleaner to combine clothing articles into fewer bags.

We pick up clothes at the dry cleaners   times per year.

We receive an average of   hangers and   plastic dry cleaning bags on each visit.

   

If every household received these items at dry cleaners this often, here’s how much waste would be generated each year:

Resources for reducing dry cleaner waste

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Plastic Milk and Water Containers

Plastic Milk & Water Jugs

The average consumer drinks more than 20 gallons of milk a year. In addition, many households purchase jugs or bottles of water instead of drinking tap water. Plastic jugs and bottles are collected for recycling, but you can save money and reduce waste with reusable water bottles, or by purchasing milk in the new packaging-reduced, space-saver plastic jugs now sold at some warehouse stores.

We drink   gallons of milk and/or water from plastic jugs and bottles each week.

   

If every household used this many plastic milk and water containers, here's how many tons of plastic would be generated each year:

Resources for reducing plastic milk and water containers

Need more help reducing waste? Please contact us or see our Waste Prevention Tips for more information.

Note: The King County EcoConsumer Waste Calculator is adapted from the New York City "Measure Your Impact" tool with the permission of the New York City Department of Sanitation, Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling and the NYCWasteLe$$ Web site.

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Updated: Apr. 11, 2013


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