Reduce Waste at Home With 5 Simple Tips
By: Lori Thayer
Tired of lugging bag after bag of trash outside for trash day? Worried about all the waste being produced in the your community, state and even the world? Reduce waste at home with these 5 tips. You too can average 1 kitchen size bag of trash a week.
I was startled when I realized a year ago that we rarely had more than 1 bag of trash. Some weeks there wasn't any. No more need to yell at the kids or husband to take the trash out. No lugging the big trash can down the driveway on trash day. One little bag. The sense of accomplishment and price in this is amazing.
I started to assess the changes we had made that reduced waste so dramatically. The 5 biggest changes we have implements are detailed below. What changes can you begin making today to reduce waste?
Buy fewer packaged items
The main starting point to reducing waste is to buy fewer packaged items. This is not as hard as it seems. Consider these options as ways of reaching this goal:
- Buy more whole foods. There is a lot less packaging when you mostly buy produce and meat.
- Buy milk from a dairy. This will usually mean the containers get cleaned and re-used. This alone can save hundreds of milk jugs from the landfill from just your family.
- Buy in bulk. If you know you will be using a lot of an item buy larger containers of it. I buy large bags of baking soda, vinegar, salt and other essential items that have much letter packaging than an equal quantity in smaller packages.
Check what recycling options are available in your community. It may be as simple as signing up for recycling pickup, the same as you do for trash. Otherwise there is probably recycling drop offs nearby. Your recycling center will be able to provide you with a list of the items they accept. Meanwhile, here is a common recycling guide.
We keep a list on the fridge of which items can be recycled and make sure our kids learn to reduce waste too. Keep a recycling container near the kitchen so it is easy to recycle. If you have to walk to the garage you won't do it. We actually had to downside our garbage can and the old larger one turned into our recycling bin.
Composting will reduce waste by saving a ton of food from the landfill. Simply save your kitchen scraps (minus any meat, dairy or oils) and put them in the composter along with some dried leaves or grass clippings. We put our scraps into a bin on the counter which gets emptied into the compost bin about once a week.
Fill the composter, keep it moist, turn it and let nature do the work. Not only will you reduce waste but you will get fabulous organic material to add to your plants, flowers and vegetable garden when the composter has finished it's work.
Reference this list for what can and can't go into the compost pile. I even learned something…I can add my dryer lint! Not sure why that didn't occur to me as my I already empty my vacuum into the compost pile.
Many items that we used to purchase a physical product for can now be bought and easily consumed in a digital manner. Whenever possible forego the physical item and the packaging it comes with and go digital. Consider buying these items in a digital format.
Many books and movies are also available to lend in a digital format. You've probably heard of the lending library available to Amazon Prime members. This is great if you use a kindle and want the benefits of Prime. However there are also a lot of free options.
Don't forget to sign up to receive your bills in electronic format too. Reducing waste that enters the house via the mailbox will save time in sorting, clutter and trash. If you already have a lot of paper documents to rid yourself of simply scan and recycle them.
Borrow instead of buy
If you really prefer the feel of a book to reading on a kindle or nook borrow the book from your local library. Other great sources for books are friends and even online lending or swapping programs. Get all the movies and TV shows you would like streamed instantly from Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.
What are your favorite tips to reduce waste at home? Share then with us in the comments below.
Interested in more ways to optimize your life? Learn the 7 Secrets To A Chaos Free Morning. Lori Thayer is passionate about finding ways to optimize your life, save time and enjoy life more. Become chaos free today.
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