By reducing waste at home, you can benefit yourself, your family, and the environment.
Ever thought about how often you have to empty your trash can at home or in the office? Well, there are practices that you can adopt to minimize what goes to waste. In this article, we will cover practical waste management strategies to help you cut down on trash, and save the planet.
Reduce, REUSE, Recycle
It’s often the forgotten part of this three-word phrase. Reusing items that would otherwise be trash is an exceptional way to reduce the amount of stuff you throw away. The issue of paper waste is very prevalent at home and in the workplace. Reusing scrap paper and misprinted sheets can drastically reduce your consumption. Try writing notes on the backside of used paper, or creating crafts from newspaper.
You can completely avoid this waste by going paperless If the option is available. One way to achieve this is by encouraging the use of email instead of paper bills or receipts when you make a purchase. Instead of printing documents and photos in the office, you can opt to view them on an electronic device.
As a rule, printing less overall is a good step towards reducing the amount of paper that might end up as waste. Taking notes on paper might be an obvious choice for many people. If you often take notes, consider some great online alternatives that allow you to avoid paper and pen. Next time before you toss those junk envelopes or card boxes in the wastebasket, try making use of them.
Donate & Buy Secondhand
Every day, people throw away items that someone else might find useful. What they don’t realize is these items can be reused or recycled. If you have things that you no longer need, you can donate the items to non-profit centers like Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill. Not everything should go to the trash can.
Here, we’re talking about unwanted or unfitting clothes, furniture, and other houseware. Donating is a great way to reduce waste since smaller-income people get the items affordably.
On the other hand, if you plan to buy something new, first check second-hand websites or stores and local garage sales. You’ll find valuable items at lower prices, and in many cases are brand new or in great condition.
Minimize Food Waste
The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Food Waste Index Report for 2021 indicates that a third of all food gets wasted each year globally. This is a huge waste of money, energy, and other resources.
Making changes in the way we buy, cook and plan our meals can help us avoid food waste. You shouldn’t buy more than you need. Before going out to shop, note what you already have in your cupboard or fridge so you know what to add and what not to.
In addition, check expiry dates before you add things to your shopping cart. Store them properly when you get home to ensure they don’t go bad and end up as waste.
Limiting Use of Disposables
While most can agree that single-use cups and other disposable utensils are quite convenient. Their recyclable or reusable counterparts are better options if you’re environmentally conscious. Instead of buying water in a single-use bottle, for instance, consider carrying your own reusable bottle.
Eating out? Avoid disposable plastic straws, cutlery, and containers and instead, opt for the reusable options. While this is not always possible, there are opportunities. Starbucks, for example, gives customers the choice of filling your existing reusable Starbucks cup instead of a single-use.
So you can see, it’s not as hard as many think to reduce the waste that you produce. However, it does take a level of responsibility and accountability. By adopting some, or all, of these strategies, you will be on your way to reducing waste and a more environmentally conscious lifestyle!
Want to take it one step further? Consider growing your own food forest, and create a sustainable method of food production in your own yard!
Interested in reading more? Check out one of our latest blog posts on how growing your own food improves your health!