You Can Easily Live A Waste-Free Lifestyle
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 waste 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 are 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 To Reduce Waste For Good
Here are 11 ways you can start to make a change:
1. Buy Only What You Need
When you are shopping and strolling down the isles, it is easy to see something you just can’t live without and plop it in the cart.
Even if it wasn’t on the list.
But you totally needed it, right?!?!
Um, probably not.
When shopping, buy only as much as you know you’ll use. Food, cleaning supplies, home goods, hardware, paint.
Don’t get caught up in the cute displays and shiny objects.
Reducing waste starts by buying only what you need.
You can do it!
2. Avoid Creating Waste
Whenever possible, avoid creating waste.
There are so many opportunities throughout the day to make a choice to reduce. Most of them are so small you probably don’t even think about them.
When ordering food to go, say no to the unnecessary plastic utensils. Cause you have your own reusable ones to use. Say no to plastic straws and use a reusable one or just drink straight from the cup.
Eat ice cream out of a cone instead of a paper cup. Look for products with the least amount of packaging. Only take one napkin and not a handful.
Use reusable whenever possible.
Keep in mind, every little bit of trash that can be avoided makes a difference. It all adds up.
3. Use Reusable Bags
For shopping, taking your lunch to work, going to the beach. Whatever. Use a reusable bag.
If you live in an area that hasn’t banned plastic bags, be sure to keep some reusable bags in your car or carry with you when you go shopping.
There are plenty of eco-friendly bags you can buy. You should use them!
Cut down on pollution caused by plastic bags.
4. Try DIY
Whenever possible, try to Do It Yourself.
Make your own products to cut down on waste and have control of what materials are used.
Hop on Pinterest for DIY inspiration.
You can pretty much DIY anything. House cleaning supplies, furniture, green beauty, home projects.
Get your craft skills on and do it yourself before you buy.
5. Maintain And Repair
Instead of running out and buying new items when something breaks, you should try repairing it first. Either DIY or hiring skilled craftsmen.
Many slightly damaged items are actually easy to fix. Don’t know how? Hop on YouTube. There are videos for almost everything.
Also, maintain your car and electronics with necessary updates to keep them running longer and efficiently to avoid replacing more frequently.
The planet is struggling to deal with the waste created from overconsumption.
Maintain and repair your belongings to avoid more trash being created.
6. Pack Waste-Free Lunches
The goal of a waste-free lunch means that you have no trash to throw away when you’re done.
Ok, an apple core or banana peel is ok.
Avoid single-use packages and pack your food in reusable containers. A bento box or multiple storage containers help you take several food items in one container.
You don’t need everything in its own special little pack. Sure, it’s convenient to buy a yogurt or nut mix in their own little, cute package, but it’s not great for the planet.
Buy in bulk and pack in washable containers.
Just set some time aside on Sunday and pack your lunches out for the week. Meal prep and packing is where it’s at.
The best way to reduce trash is to not create it.
7. Mug To Go
One use plastic, paper, or styrofoam cups are so yesterday.
They should be.
There is no need to use single-use, wasteful cups ever again.
Carry a to-go mug with you wherever you go and ask the barista or server to fill it with your take out beverages.
Some will look at you weird, but most don’t. It’s becoming more and more common and most won’t bat an eye.
Sure, most of those cups can be recycled but avoid the need by using a mug on the go.
8. Work Towards Going Zero Waste
This is the ultimate goal, right?!?
Well, maybe for some of you.
It is a noble goal to have and one we all should strive for.
Even if you never reach a 100% zero waste lifestyle, work towards that goal with every choice you make.
What can you do daily to help reduce waste?
Use less paper, use reusables, avoid trash.
Green your home, your work, your life.
And who knows, maybe you’ll find zero-waste is not as hard as you think.
You won’t know unless you try.
9. Avoid Disposable Items
The gobs and gobs of trash created from the to-go lifestyle are disgusting.
It’s a huge mess that someone at some point is going to have to clean up. Let’s not leave perceived convenience for our kids and grandkids to deal with.
Take time to dine in and avoid plastic bags, styrofoam, and packaging of take-out. A to-go mug as discussed a minute ago. Reusable bags instead of collecting plastic bags at the store.
This also goes for other commonly consumed items. Disposable razors, travel toiletries, diapers, paper goods.
Think long term and buy long-lasting, reusable, and low waste versions.
When you are reaching for disposable for convenience, think both environmentally and economically.
Your kids and your grandkids will thank you.
10. Donate Unneeded Items
When you have things you no longer want or need, don’t throw it in the trash.
Donating to a charity should always be your first priority.
So many people throw away perfectly good items they no longer need. Simply because they don’t know what else to do with them.
Remember the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
Someone else will find your unwanted or unneeded items useful. Give your old stuff another chance. Don’t just send it to the dump.
Reduce waste and do something good.
11. Use Natural Alternatives
The holidays are a fun time. The decorations. The festivities. Family. It’s so fun.
What’s not fun?
All the plastic.
When buying decorations think of the planet and opt for natural alternatives. A real tree instead of a plastic tree. A homemade wreath from pine instead of a plastic one.
Other ways to go natural to avoid waste:
- Make natural potpourris and room sprays instead of using aerosol cans or packages of air fresheners
- Using wooden utensil instead of plastic
- Natural fabric napkins and paper towels that can be washed instead of bleached paper products.
Use things that can be put in the compost bin rather than the landfill.
Conclusion For Going Green And Learning How To Reduce Waste
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.
Reduce Waste And Your Carbon Footprint By Following These Easy Tips
What do you do to reduce waste? Share in the comments. Let’s inspire each other!