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6 simple ways to reduce waste at home

Ways to reduce waste

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:

  • Books
  • Games
  • Toys
  • Electronics
  • Furniture

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?

24 thoughts on “6 simple ways to reduce waste at home”

  1. Great and timely tips for our planet, Christy! I am good about keeping my own bags (quite the assortment I’ve collected) and use them not just in the grocery stores. I’m still surprised to see shoppers walking out with purchased plastic bags or foregoing the bags and dealing with individual items in their cars. So easy to keep bags in your vehicle or by the door. Make a list, grab a bag! Here in California, we have been bagless for several years. I do my best to recycle what can be recycled, but so many convenience items are wrapped in plastic! I fear for our planet :(

    1. Hi Terri, you’re doing your part for sure! That’s awesome. And like you say it gets easier when we make it a routine to keep the bags in the car or by the door. Oh dear, don’t even get me started on the plastic issues… :(

  2. It’s so important for us all to do our share, Christy. The one listed here that I don’t do too much of is buy in bulk. Since there are only two of us in the household now, I purchase just what we need as it limits wastage.

    1. The main thing is that you’re limiting what gets tossed out for groceries so do what works best in your home, Norah. As you say, buying in bulk might not be the best thing with just 2 of you in the house. Have a nice weekend!

  3. Love this! Loooove this! I actually practice all of these, though I could work on the “buy groceries in bulk” piece a little more. Love your words of wisdom and encouragement to always strive to do better. Have a lovely weekend! 🤗

    1. I really do try to show that we can all do a bit more in different areas of life to help one another and the planet so your comment means a lot to me, C! Have a fun weekend too xx

  4. How about an afternoon Trading Party? A group of friends meets up at someone’s place. Everyone brings things they want to trade. IE: gently used or new clothes (clothes bought then never worn… hanging in the closet for years), unopened beauty products, books, art, dvd’s, dishes, any of many things you don’t need or want any more.
    You can have some fun, get rid of some unwanted and gain some wanted items.
    Just a thought.

    1. I love that idea! It’s a way to trade off stuff you don’t use and someone else could really enjoy! And it could be a social time too, with everyone bringing a dish to share to eat after the “swap” is done :D

  5. We have a “fixit clinic” here for broken things! Practically all my furniture is handed down. Tulip table and chairs, armchairs, shelving, heywood wakefield desk…most anything you need at the store, you can get at a thrift store or an antique store/vintage shop, instead.

    1. Yes, I’m going to look around them more as I like finding “treasures” :) Only I can’t go too much as I also want to embrace simplicity!

    2. I know, right? It’s like I want simplicity until I go into a bookstore. Or on Etsy, or at a local craft fair. Or…well, you get the picture. Ha!

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