Most of us have room for improvement in environmental stewardship unless you live a zero-waste lifestyle. While the concept of decreasing waste can be intimidating, a good place to start is right at home. Making a deliberate attempt to adopt more eco-friendly waste strategies starts with recycling. This can significantly impact your trash output. Here are some strategies to reduce your home’s waste output.
Replace plastic with cloth products
- Paper towels, plastic wrap, plastic zip bags, tin foil are all useful, but they also generate significant garbage. Use a silicone baking sheet instead of tinfoil or paper. Replace paper towels and single-use wipes with washable microfiber cloths for cleaning. Reusable lunch containers and washable sandwich bags help keep your food fresher for longer and reduce the quantity of garbage generated in your home daily. This will not only cut down on garbage but is cheaper in the long run.
Nordic By Nature 4 Pack – Reusable Sandwich Bags Dishwasher Safe BPA Free via Amazon
- Composting is an excellent way of saving the planet. Recycling food and other organic waste into compost provides a range of environmental benefits, including improving soil health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recycling nutrients, and mitigating the impact of droughts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a good article on composting. Composting at Home will give you the basics you need to understand and start composting. You can do this by using septic tanks for your kitchen waste, such as vegetable peels. This way, your trash does more good than harm. For example, composting can encourage good plant growth and serve as a better alternative to chemical fertilizers available on the market. It has been estimated that creating compost reduces a home’s waste by 30%.
Repair rather than discard
- I don’t understand why modern society designs replacement into our products. When I was growing up decades ago, most items could be repaired. Practically no one repairs things anymore. Why toss something out when you can fix it? Purchasing a few high-quality products and repairing them when needed is far better for the environment than buying a large quantity of inexpensive, throwaway items. Spend a few minutes the next time a tank top strap pops off or a lamp stops working, to consider repair. Rather than tossing it away and purchasing a new one try to find out if it can be repaired. A simple sewing kit can help you mend a strap or replace buttons. Even Walmart has kits to rewire an old lamp. I’ve done it and I’ not mechanical at all. When you find a beautiful old lamp, give it new life.
Lamp Re-wire Kit at Walmart $7.95
Reuse shopping bags
- Using reusable shopping bags is one of the simplest methods to reduce the amount of waste you produce. Instead of relying on the plastic bags provided by your grocer to pack and transport your groceries home, bring your cloth bags. Keeping a few extra bags in the trunk of your car or at the front door is a simple technique to ensure you don’t forget them. If you have plastic bags already, check out The Spruce’s 23 Genius Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags.
Plastic Bag Ghosts at Small for Big
Rely on reusable containers
- Once you’ve started buying what you need, take it a step further by properly storing food, which will extend the life of your food and keep it as fresh as possible. Invest in well-sealed containers for items that go bad rapidly, such as baking ingredients, cereals, and other foods. Reusable containers are especially crucial to have in your kitchen if you purchase loose foods from farmer’s markets. Earthline has a great post of The 9 Best Reusable Food Storage Bags for 2021.
- Papers make up about a third of all landfill waste. Everything that goes into the garbage bin, from paper cups to napkins, ends up in landfills. Start cleaning around the house with rags made from old garments or towels instead of paper towels to reduce paper waste. You should also use hand towels instead of paper in the kitchen. I have a nice collection of cloth napkins in various colors that I bought at the thrift store for pennies. No need for paper napkins. Avoid using paper plates during house parties. Get out your summer outside dishes and forget the expense of buying paper.
Now with these tips, you can be sure to reduce your home’s overall waste and save the environment.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.
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