This post is also available in: French
The planet that we all call home is in trouble. And turning your head away from the environmental problems isn’t going to solve them. Instead, let’s each try to do our part, starting with these easy ways to reduce waste at home.
After all, it’s our responsibility to do something about the issue. Unless you already live a zero-waste lifestyle, there is room for improvement when it comes to living a greener life.
While the idea of reducing waste can be overwhelming, a great place to start is within your own home. All it takes is a few small changes to make a big difference, as you’ll see below.
Easy ways to reduce waste at home:
1. Ditch the plastic bags
Whenever you leave the house, remember to bring a bag or two with you. Although plastic bags used to be everywhere, these days, they’re becoming less and less common.
While most stores now charge you for plastic bags here in Canada, others have gotten rid of them completely, offering only the reusable ones. Keeping a few tote bags by the door will make sure that you don’t forget them.
There are also lightweight foldable bags that conveniently fit in most purses, ladies. Or keep them in a drawer at work just in case you want to pop into the grocery store on the way home.
2. Buy groceries in bulk
Buying groceries in small quantities may be more convenient at the time. But it produces much more waste and costs a lot more money over the long run.
For example, consider the extra packaging of 3 small containers versus one large one. Not to mention the energy and resources taken to make those 3 items versus the single one.
Bulk is often cheaper than single items too as a consumer. Especially when you keep your eyes peeled for in-store specials and flyers.
Furthermore, cut out those produce bags for apples and other fruits and vegetables by using cotton produce bags of your own while shopping in bulk. Then put them into the fabric bags you brought to the store – Easy!
For this reason, you should look online to see if there is anywhere nearby that you could purchase non-perishable essentials in bulk. You might even be able to take your own containers from home, which would eliminate any unnecessary packaging.
3. Make a meal plan
As well as material waste, food waste has become a huge problem in many parts of the world. Thankfully, this issue has a straightforward solution.
All you need to do is only buy groceries that you know for certain you will eat.
And that’s doable by creating weekly meal plans. That way you’ll know exactly what foods are necessary to get you and family through the week.
This habit will stop you from buying things you don’t need, thereby reducing the amount of spoiled food you throw out. Bonus: You’ll save money.
4. Avoid single-use items
Washing up might be a chore, but the waste created by plastic utensils and paper plates just isn’t worth it. Stop resorting to these single-use items and purchase reusable ones instead, like bamboo cutlery.
If you check out this bamboo cutlery post, read about all of this material’s benefits. Despite what many believe, it doesn’t stain or warp, but it is recyclable.
Even more ways to easily reduce waste at home:
5. Shop for secondhand stuff
Shopping for secondhand clothes is always better than buying new ones. As well as saving you money, purchasing used garments helps to reduce the waste in the world.
However, it’s not only clothes that you can buy from thrift shops and charity stores. You can also find:
Much of this stuff is in a near-new condition too. Only much cheaper than new, and who doesn’t like a great deal?!
6. Repair rather than dispose
Whether you’ve ripped your favorite pair of jeans or broken a lamp, you should try fixing your things before you throw them away. This is clearly a less costly approach to life, but it’s also a greener one.
Although there will be some items that are not salvageable, many things can continue to be of use with a little care. You might only need to sew on a patch or change a fuse, for example.
These DIY skills are easy to learn using YouTube or blog posts, if you’re unfamiliar with the steps. Plus, learning is one of the joys of life!
Conclusions on ways to reduce waste at home
By now it’s clear that reducing household rubbish IS possible. And you can feel good knowing you’re helping the Earth for future generations to keep enjoying it.
What are some other ways to reduce waste at home and live a more eco-friendly life? Do you regularly do any of the things on the above list?
This post is also available in: French