Tips To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint And Work Towards A Zero Waste Home
One step towards having a positive impact on the environment is to find ways to reduce waste and move towards a waste-free lifestyle.
Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. Those are the 5 Rs of living a zero-waste lifestyle.
Now, I don’t expect you to go from your average family living situation to an Eco-Warrior overnight.
That’s just silly.
But you can start taking steps to live a more waste-free lifestyle. Reducing is one of those steps.
Waste is a problem in our culture. It causes pollution and uses up the planet’s resources.
Landfills are filling up and releasing methane gases into the air, leaching contaminants into the water supply, and destroying the land.
Consumerism and the ease to make online purchases is producing more waste and harming the environment.
It is a continuing cycle of producing, packaging, and distributing more and more stuff that will all eventually end up in the trash.
But you can make a change!
You can find ways to reduce waste and limit your landfill contribution.
I am going to tell you how.
Read on to learn super simple tips on how to embrace a waste-free lifestyle.
Benefits Of Reducing Waste
- Prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to produce, package and distribute, and dispose of goods
- Saves energy
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
- Helps sustain the environment for future generations
- Is healthier for you, your family and the planet
- Saves money
- Reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators
- Allows products to be used to their fullest extent
How You Can Reduce Waste
Here are 11 ways you can start to make a change:
My husband asked me once if he could choose only one thing to do to have a positive environmental impact what would it be?
I thought about it for a few minutes and decided it would be to simplify.
When you simplify your life as much as possible and only keep belongings that you use and enjoy on a regular basis, you greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
By making an effort to live simply, you make an effort to reduce what you buy and own. This will naturally cause you to purchase less. Which means you will create less waste.
Simplifying your life, your home, and your belongings will help reduce waste, lower your carbon footprint and encourage a healthy planet.
2. Determine Your Impact
Ok, now that you have decided to live more simply, you need to determine what impact you have on the health of the planet.
Here are some calculators to determine how you are impacting the environment so you know what changes need to be made.
And don’t beat yourself up if they are worse than you were hoping.
You are now taking the steps toward positive change and that is what matters!
You are doing great.
It’s one step at a time.
3. Reduce Purchases
Before making any purchases, think, “do I really need this”. What impact is that purchase having on the environment?
In general, think before you buy any product.
I mean, do you really need it?
Consider how the production of the product impacts the environment. What further impacts will there be with the disposal of the product? What about the packaging materials?
When you are thinking about buying anything, try to avoid instant gratification. Try the 30-day Rule.
Wait 30 days after the first time you decide you want a product to really make your decision. This will help stop impulse buying.
Of course, if you really do need something you don’t need to wait. But make sure you are buying from companies that support sustainable practices and use recyclables.
4. Invest In High-Quality Items
Forget about convenience and trying to find cheap deals. It only ends up costing you and the planet more in the long run.
I get it. I like bargains myself. But there is something to be said about buying high-quality items.
Saving up and buying high-quality products that are built to last will help reduce waste and lower your carbon footprint.
Focus on purchases that will be a long term investment. Avoid the tendency to find cheaper options that you will have to replace every few years.
Keep all those bargain buys and “good deals” out of the landfills and slow down the CO2 emissions of production factories.
5. Take An Eco-Break
For one day, afternoon, or an hour a week, don’t buy anything, don’t use electronics, don’t cook, don’t answer your phone.
In short, don’t use any resources.
Take an eco-break.
Every hour per week that you live eco-friendly and take a break from using greenhouse gas-emitting products will help cut your carbon footprint by 0.6% annually.
Think about that!
Four hours per week is 2.4% and a whole day each week will cut your carbon footprint by 14.4% a year!
Pick up a book, head to the park and relax. Light some candles and get out the guitar and have a family sing-along. Go stargazing. Watch the clouds float by. Go hiking.
There are so many things you can do that doesn’t rely on using energy sources.
Figure out what is best for you and your family and commit to taking an eco-break routinely.
6. Replace Disposables
This is one of my favorites!
Wherever possible, replace disposable products with reusable ones.
I call them my eco swaps.
Swap disposable razors, food storage containers, paper towels, napkins, batteries, coffee filters, etc to reusable options.
This cuts down on waste and you will produce way less trash every month.
Start slow and when you throw something away, replace it with reusable options.
7. Buy Used
If you need something for your home, look for used before buying brand spanking new.
To be honest, you may even find better quality used than cheap new options.
Look at local thrift stores, facebook marketplace, craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales, and local consignment shops.
Just because something is used doesn’t make it worthless and crappy.
Think about the planet, y’all.
8. Halt Junk Mail
This is a good one because I find junk mail so annoying.
What a complete waste
It’s actually pretty easy to get your name off the list. It just takes a couple of steps and online forms to fill out.
But with a few clicks of a button, you can lower your carbon footprint by not getting trash in the mail every day.
9. Share With Friends
Who doesn’t love sharing?!?
Instead of you all buying books and magazines and… whatever… share it!
My circle of friends has a book exchange program. We swap our favorite books and then spend hours discussing them.
Trade games, movies, stuff for the kids.
It builds community and it helps the environment.
10. Go Tree Free
As much as possible, create a tree-free home.
Think of the precious forests.
Here are a few ways to go tree-free in your home:
- Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins
- Switch paper towels with washable, reusable paper towels
- Use 100% post-consumer recycled toilet paper
- Read books, magazines, and newspapers from your local library
- Take notes on a digital device instead of paper
11. Avoid Single-Use Packaging
Avoid products that are packaged for single use.
Drink cartons, school lunches, candy, pet food, salad mixings, etc.
I know it’s convenient, but it’s not healthy for the environment.
The planet will thank you if you put a little more effort into buying in bulk and storing for multiple uses.
Buy eco-friendly containers, to-go cups, and lunch boxes to pack your food and drink instead of using single-use packaging.
I used to buy a yogurt cup for every lunch. Convenient? You betcha. Sustainable? Not at all.
How hard was it for me to buy yogurt in a big tub and just pack into to-go containers every day. Not really hard at all.
Look around and decide where you can make some eco swaps to help cut down on single-use products.
Convenience at the expense of the planet is not convenient at all– Lindsay Miles
Conclusion On How To Reduce Waste In Your Home
These 11 steps will help reduce your carbon footprint and start your journey to a waste-free home.
They may seem overwhelming at first, but you will learn that they are actually super simple to do. It almost seems silly that this isn’t the norm in our culture.
Know that you can make a positive impact. No matter how big or how small, they all add up.
Do this for you, your family, the planet, and for future generations.
Follow These Super Simple Tips On How To Reduce To Simplify And Tidy Up Your Home
What steps do you take to reduce waste? Share in the comments. Let’s inspire each other.