Take our Quiz: How trashy are you?

Many of us resolve to go green in our daily lives, but not everyone’s able to commit full-time to taking public transit, composting all food scraps, and buying locally grown food.  But there is an easy way to do your part -- simply reduce how much waste you create. As a nation, we throw out more than 200 million tons of trash each year and just 33% of that is recycled or composted!

Question: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), how much trash does the average American throw out each day?

A. 3.7 pounds        B. 4.3 pounds        C. 4.6 pounds         D. 5.2 pounds

Answer: 4.6 pounds.

The EPA says that the average American produces 4.6 pounds of waste per person, per day, or 1,657 ponds a year. This only takes into consideration the average household member and does not count industrial waste or commercial trash. If this sounds like a staggering amount of waste, you're right.

The good news is that we can change this by following three main action strategies:

  1. Reduce, meaning consume less;
  2. Reuse when possible;
  3. Recycle everything you can

Most of us are already familiar with these 3 Rs, and if you're not, you can learn more here.

Do you have some great ideas of your own about reducing our waste system?
How about inspiring others in your community (and beyond) to reduce, reuse, and recycle through the EPA's Our Planet, Our Stuff, Our Choice video competition? The EPA is sponsoring the competition to raise awareness of the connection between the environment and the "stuff" people use, consume, recycle, and throw away. They want your help to create videos that inspire community involvement, spread information, and lead to action! Not only will you feel good by sharing your ideas and actions, but you could win a cash prize if your video is chosen!

Be a 3 Rs Super Star! Submit your video response on or before February 16, 2010 to the EPA's YouTube contest site. Winners will be announced in April 2010 during Earth Month and will be featured on the EPA website.