Waste seems to be taking over the world.
Our family of 3 can produce as much as a bag full every other day sometimes. I feel like this is a huge problem, because if every family does this, we will be buried in it before long.
I really wanted to look around and see way I could think of to reduce waste in my own home without sacrificing convenience, because let’s face it, until we can get on track to our permanent homestead, I am stuck in the busy rat race with no time to actually live! That sounds extreme, but it feels true right now. A lot of our activities revolve around what is going on with work, school, and bills.
So here I have created a few ideas that can help reduce waste. Every bit helps!
• Reusable packaging- This is a big one for me, because I like to make things ahead of time. We use a lot of baggies, so one thing I plan to invest in is more containers (I already reuse lunch meat containers and butter tubs, but I really want to invest in glass). The other is reusable food wrap.
I saw these bees wraps the other day. Genius. They work like cling wrap and are washable and reusable. I can use these instead of sandwich bags and turn a bowl into a container. Perfect.
• Recycle- My daughter is in charge of recycling, because it is a great job for her to do. We already do this, but I think getting her involved will be a great way to spread this to the next generation. We have nearby recycling, but I know not everyone does. I think a great idea is to keep one trash can for regular trash and one for recyclables. This way when you are ready to go, all you have to do is load up the bags and separate into containers on site.
• Reuse(able) bags- I have a ton of cloth bags and use them for small shopping trips, but when I am doing my main shopping, I am almost 100% guilty of leaving these behind and getting plastic. One thing I can say in my own defense is that I do reuse these for mess clean up, kitty litter, lunches… To help reduce waste though, I will do this the other way around from now on. Small trips I will get plastic and large trips I will use my cloth bags 😊.
• Composting- We used to compost, but in our current location we cannot. We do have animals though. One way I can reduce food waste is to keep as many recipes as possible pet friendly.
• Disposable no no- I am guilty of grabbing paper plates and plastic cups so all I have to do is wash silverware (at least I do that…). We have perfectly good cups and plates. In the event we have a cook out or something of that nature, I will buy paper instead. It is better than plastic at least! Or they make these plates from wheat straw fiber, which would work perfect: Earth’s Natural Alternative Wheat Straw Fiber, Bagasse (Sugarcane) Tree Free 9″ Plate, 50 Pack
• Water bottles- We filter water at home, but on the go, we use water bottles. We each have 1 reusable bottle, but we usually need to take more than 1 bottle with us. I will average out how many we use on a go day, and make sure we have enough reusable ones. I prefer glass.
I thought this would be expensive, but they sell packs of 6 for $20 on amazon.
• Glass- Most things, such as pickles and jellies, come in both plastic and glass for the same price. I will purchase glass brands when given the chance. This way we can reuse the containers or recycle. You can’t do this with all plastic.
• Paper towels- I do not know why we use paper towels for everything. Rags work just as well and can be washed and reused. It takes no more time to throw these in a hamper than it would to toss them into the trash. A little bucket is now going next to the trash can in the kitchen for cleaning rags. This way I can keep them separate from clothes and give them a good rinse before washing. We don’t even have to buy rags, I can think of a ton of shirts with holes in them… Don’t tell Donnie, he thinks these are the best shirts.
• Buy used- Everything new comes in packaging! If we buy used, not only are we reducing waste, but also saving a ton of money!
That’s all I have for now, but it is a good start. Feel free to comment ways you reduce waste. We have a long way to go in this department!