From your choice of cloth to the way you dispose of trash, the simple decisions we make from time to time go a long way to impact the planet. About 4.4 pounds of waste is produced by the average American each day. This statistic, coupled with the rate at which the Great Pacific Garbage patch is increasing, has created environmental consciousness among many. A better and healthier environment always starts with responsibly managing our regular waste materials.
If, like many believers of the zero-waste movement, you are looking for ways to reduce waste, below are some helpful tips on how to do so:
Use Reusable Items
Cutting down the amount of waste you throw out always starts with replacing frequently used items like bottles, food storage, and cups with reusable ones. It may be quite an adjustment if you are already used to buying takeouts or water. Nevertheless, it is the right step in the eco-friendly direction.
Asides from bottles, many household items can easily be swapped for reusable ones. Here is a tip, pick a day to write down the things you frequently throw away. Once you have your list, you can swap them with their reusable counterpart. This step can drastically reduce the amount of trash you produce daily.
Skip Plastic Bags
About 200,000 plastic bags are added to a landfill every hour. Cutting down on the use of plastic bags not only affects the trash you produce but also the figure above. You can use a reusable tote bag in place of a plastic bag when shopping for groceries.
You can also shop at your local farmers’ market instead of big grocery stores as they rely on less packaging. Instead of disposing of the egg carton or fruit basket from the market, you can return it to the farmers. This way, you reduce your trash while allowing the farmers to reuse their packaging.
Support Sustainable Brands
Another way to reduce the amount of trash you produce and overall trash production if the world is to support brands who are also committed to this purpose. There are a lot of beauty and skincare brands that package their products in recycled plastics. You can make an impact on the environment with your patronage.
Reduce Your Use Of Paper
Today, more and more companies are going paperless by sending bills and invoices electronically. Some stores even go as far as to offer e-receipts. The paperless method not only makes future reference easy but also reduces the trash you produce. You can also take your favorite magazine subscription digital by reading it on your computer or tablet.
Shop For Second-Hand Items
Another way to reduce trash production is by shopping for secondhand items like clothes, furniture, bicycles, etc., instead of shopping for new ones. If you have kids, do not shy away from using hand-me-downs instead of new clothes.
Donate Used Items
If you no longer use some furniture, equipment, or even clothes, you can donate them to charity instead of throwing them away.
Turn Your Bio-Degradable Trash To Compost
Many items in landfills can become compost with the right effort. Instead of disposing of materials like eggshells, remains of fruits and plants, etc., you can have them composted in your backyard to be used as fertilizer afterward. Depending on the condition, it could take about 3 – 12 months for the compost to be ready to use. If you grow your vegetables, this method not only reduces your trash but also provides a cheaper and better option for fertilizers.
Plan Your Meals
Food waste is the leading source of waste in America; hence, planning your meal is essential in reducing waste. A proper meal plan before grocery shopping prevents you from buying food items you don’t need and subsequently tossing them into the trash can once they go bad due to lack of usage.
Follow The Standards For Recycling
While you may be separating your trash into recyclable and non-recyclable, you could be doing it wrong! If your recycle bin collects only specific items like coffee cups, a different item, say, a pizza box, can contaminate the whole stream. The trash inevitably ends up in a landfill instead of being recycled.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk reduces the amount of packaging you may usually require, reducing the amount of trash you produce.
The journey to a safer planet may require some uncomfortable lifestyle changes. Nevertheless, it would help if you always remembered that it is usually worth it.