Waste management is a unique interest because it unifies those prioritizing money-saving and those passionate about climate care. So whether you’re searching for tricks to save for a vacation or interested in the zero-waste movement (or if you care about both!), discover ways to reduce waste at home.
Reusable Bags and Cleaning Cloths
Plastic bags are a high-profile target for waste elimination campaigns, and for good reason. Unless reused, many people use plastic bags for mere minutes and then dispose of them. And even if individuals choose to reuse them, plastic bags tear easily because stores do not manufacture them with reuse in mind. An idea for lowering your plastic consumption is to buy reusable bags at the store and keep them in the trunk of your car. Many different cloth products can replace shorter-lived products, including cloth towels, diapers, and menstrual pads. We often throw these products’ disposable alternatives away without a second thought, so utilizing cloth is a no-brainer for reducing total waste and lowering ongoing costs.
Go Paperless with Everything
Another strategy is to digitize as many tasks and mailings as possible to cut down on paper waste. For example, download an app for organizing grocery lists or to keep tabs of your records and thoughts on your phone. Also, opt out of magazine or ad mailings in favor of a digital subscription or email access to content (or opt-out altogether). You’ll find that this not only saves significant amounts of paper but also helps you stay more organized.
Get Familiar with Recycling Rules
Understanding recycling guidelines is often a forgotten strategy for reducing waste at home. Not knowing what can go in the recycling bin too often keeps us from recycling as much as we can. As a general rule, rigid plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, and metals are recyclable as long as food/substance residues did not spoil (permanently changed) them. Other key items to avoid recycling are polystyrene foam containers (ex. egg cartons), restaurant packaging, and nonrigid plastics like plastic bags.
Plan Your Meals and Meal Storage
Waste is very common when people under prepare or are always in a rush. If you set aside a margin of time for buying food at the store (and perhaps even cooking it), you can prevent crunch-times that lead to waste. You won’t have to worry about dwindling food options and needing to resort to fast-food that involves non-recyclable packaging you’ll quickly dispose of.
Repair, Don’t Replace
Because the per capita income in America allows for the easy replacement of products such as smart devices, cars, appliances, and more, we often throw these items away. However, you can focus on restoration when something becomes defective. In doing so you save (valuable) raw material that would have been cast aside when a small fix could restore all functionality to it. Plus, you save money because you don’t need to buy the product again, while potentially learning a new skill along the way.