When Washington State Rep. Reuven Carlyle heard about the Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards competition he decided to start a competition of his own – a very personal one. He challenged his family of six to reduce their own garbage, recycling and yard waste by 25%!
With four young children, Rep. Reuven saw the CleanScapes competition as an opportunity to teach his kids about the importance of recycling and waste reduction. When asked where his family would focus first he said, “We now watch our garbage very closely and make 100% certain to try and throw out only non-recyclable items. We’re getting another recycling bin and making our garbage can smaller.” In April we will check in with the Carlyle Family and see how they did!
When did your family start thinking differently about reducing waste?
We received a comparative analysis of our energy usage measured against our neighbors, and we were really embarrassed by our higher levels. With four young children, it’s easy to see that we’re a larger family, but still we wanted to do better.
Why do you think this is important?
Efficiency and better use of our resources is a win-win-win. Cheaper, better for the environment, better for our infrastructure.
Your family has set a goal to reduce your waste by 25%. What are some of the first things you have done to identify where you can reduce waste individually, and collectively?
We now watch our garbage very closely and make 100% certain to try and throw out only non recyclable items. We’re getting another recycling bin and making our garbage can smaller.
How do your kids plan to help reduce waste in the household’s daily and weekly routines?
They are now focusing on turning off their lights, reducing the garbage and learning to recycle much more effectively.
What obstacles will you have to overcome to reach your goal?
Connecting the kids to the impact of their actions on the larger environment and world.
What advice do you have for other families who would like to follow in your family’s footsteps?
I encourage families to take a look at their comparative data from their own neighborhood, it’s really interesting and educational.
Does your family do anything differently for special occasions to produce less waste?
We talk about it more openly and directly and try and connect the dots of our impact on the world.