9 Easy Ways to Produce Less Waste
With concerns about climate change on the rise, you may be wondering how you can do your part. It seems that nearly every activity we participate in involves some amount of waste or use of plastic; how can we minimize our own impact on the planet?
Fortunately, this guide is here to teach you about simple, easy ways that you and your family can commit to producing less waste, reducing your carbon footprint, and doing your part to help Mother Earth continue to thrive.
1. Limit Your Purchases
It isn’t reasonable to commit to never buying anything again, or even to commit to avoiding unnecessary purchases. You work hard for your money, and there are certain treats that you like to reward yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But you can commit to limiting your purchases to only those things that you truly need or desperately want.
2. Avoid Plastic When Possible
Many stores are wrapping fruits and vegetables in plastic bags for convenience, but this leads to unnecessary waste. Avoid buying produce or any item with unnecessary plastic packaging. Look near the item for a green alternative, and try bringing your own linen bags to carry produce in.
3. Bring Your Own Bags
One of the easiest and most efficient things that you can do to reduce waste is to stop using plastic bags for groceries. Even paper bags are a better alternative, as they are recyclable. But the best option is to bring your own reusable grocery bags. It can be hard to remember at first, but with a little practice, you’ll become a pro.
4. Plan Your Meals
While leftovers can be delicious, we often forget to eat them. Meal planning can seem overwhelming at first, but it actually goes a long way towards waste reduction. When you plan your meals, you only end up buying as many groceries as you can eat, which saves you from tossing anything that didn’t get used.
This simple technique can also save you time. You won’t have to spend as much time trying to come up with creative dinner ideas every night, and you can also plan ahead and prep some meals for the week - giving you more time to catch up on your favorite show or book.
Read This Next: How to Create a Spa Day in Your Own Home
5. Avoid Bottled Water
Bottled water is a big contributor to waste. If you can avoid bottled water altogether, you’re taking a big step towards waste reduction. Try getting a reusable water bottle or tumbler, which you can even customize with cool stickers. And if you don’t like your tap water or have access to spring water, get yourself a filtration system. They are easy to use and can be far less expensive than bottled water. And, as an added bonus, you’re doing more and more for the planet you love!
6. Buy in Bulk
Have you ever walked by those big, plastic containers filled with bulk food in the grocery store? It turns out that shopping these bulk items can not only help save the planet, but it can also save you money. You can bring your own reusable bags or containers in most cases. Bring on the bulk candied almonds!
7. Shop Locally
Shopping locally is recommended for myriad reasons, not least of which is the fact that it supports your community. But, another great reason to shop locally is that local stores typically use less plastic and often produce less waste. Not to mention that a trip to the farmer’s market is always a good time.
8. Avoid Single-Use Items
While convenient, single-use items, like plastic straws and cutlery, greatly contribute to waste, because they are made from plastic, used once, and thrown away. Prepackaged snack items and meals like salads are also questionable. It may take a few minutes longer to prepare your own salad or procure a nice, reusable lunch box, the effort will go a long way. Reusable cutlery is available nearly everywhere and now comes in fashionable colors and patterns.
9. Loose-Leaf Tea
A cup of herbal tea in the afternoon is delightful, but those tea bags add up. Try using loose-leaf teas in conjunction with a tea strainer. The process is quite enjoyable and romantic, calling back on a simpler time.
These are just a few ideas to help you jump-start your commitment to waste reduction, but there are so many things that you can try on your own. Be creative in your efforts, and make sure to have fun! Kids can be a great example of reusing items, as they often see creative uses for everyday things, so bring them into the fun! Starting good habits is best done at a young age, and reducing waste is one of the best habits of all.
No matter what you do, keep the old adage in mind: reduce, reuse, recycle.