How can we reduce waste?
If you feel guilty about the amount of waste your household produces, you may be unknowingly doing some things that contribute to your household’s overall waste generation. How can you reduce waste in your everyday life with simple measures? To make a positive change in the environment and contribute to its improvement, you can do the following, for example:
Buy products with very minimal packaging
When you go shopping, choose foods that have little or no packaging, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. When you buy meat, have the butcher wrap it in good old butcher paper instead of plastic. Buy other items, such as toilet paper and cereal, in larger quantities to reduce individual packaging.
Invest in reusable containers
Instead of buying portion-sized packs of food, like pasta, rice, cereal, oatmeal, and so on, buy them in larger quantities and store them in thick plastic or glass reusable containers to keep them fresh for longer. Also, rather than using single-use plastic sandwich bags, go get those washable and reusable silicone storage bags.
Stop using single-use plastic bags
Reach for reusable shopping bags instead. If your kitchen drawer is overflowing with disposable plastic bags that usually get thrown away after a few months, get some of these large reusable shopping bags. They have a larger volume and don’t tear apart at the bottom like those thin plastic or paper bags.
Instead of buying bottled water, get a water filter
How many plastic water bottles do you throw away every week? Even one bottle is too much. Stop buying bottled water and invest in a good water filter. That way you’ll stay hydrated and stop creating too much plastic bottle waste. Also, buy good quality water bottles that you can refill when needed.
Start planning your meals for the week
You’ll have less food to throw away if you have a weekly meal plan. This will ensure that you use all the food you bought at the supermarket. Most people forget food in their refrigerator until it goes bad. With a meal plan, you make sure that none of your food goes to waste.
Create a compost pit
If you have a garden or plan to start one, set aside a portion of your yard for a compost area. Throw all table scraps, vegetable and fruit peels, and other biodegradable items from your kitchen into the compost instead of the household garbage. In just a few weeks, you’ll have a good supply of natural fertilizer for your garden.
The tips in this article are so simple that you will not have problems doing them. Despite their simplicity, they have major contributions when it comes to reducing waste significantly.
FAQ: How to reduce waste?
What is waste reduction?
Waste reduction is the most preferred method of waste management because waste that was never created in the first place will not require waste management costs. An example of waste reduction is minimizing or eliminating unnecessary packaging from products.
If everyone avoids excessive packaging, then there will be no more concerns about the costs and efforts of collecting, segregating, transporting, recycling, and then reintegrating the recycled plastics into the manufacturing process. Waste reduction can also help by preserving natural resources so that future generations can enjoy a cleaner and healthier environment.
Is waste reduction better than recycling?
Full recycling of all waste is a truly worthwhile and noble goal. It is also an attainable goal as proven by the Danish Island of Bornholm, where the residents recycle 100% of their waste. However, an even better goal is to not produce any waste at all.
Waste reduction, even just partially, can significantly eliminate the demand for the transportation and storage of waste. The vehicles used for transporting waste give off harmful CO2 emissions. Moreover, while the waste decomposes, it produces methane, which is another harmful greenhouse gas, that also harms the ozone layer.
How can you reduce waste at home?
There are many ways for you to do your part in saving the environment. You can start by reducing the amount of waste produced by your household. Here are some suggestions on how you can do just that:
- Avoid products wrapped in plastic, or excessively packaged in boxes and bags – All that excess packaging will go to the trash anyway. For instance, instead of buying your vegetables in supermarkets where they are packaged in Styrofoam trays, purchase your produce in farmers’ markets. Aside from avoiding excess waste, the fruits, vegetables, and meats are also fresher.
- When grocery shopping, bring your own canvas tote bags – These are much better and stronger than your regular plastic grocery bags. They are also reusable.
- Purchase the large, economy-size of products that you regularly use – Some examples are laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, shampoo, dry pet food, and other non-perishable items. This way, you can avoid buying smaller and individually packed items.
- When it comes to food items, like meat, buy them in bulk – You should then put them in the freezer so they can last for much longer. Also, freeze fruits and vegetables but make sure to consume them as soon as possible.
As a member of humanity, it is your responsibility to reduce the amount of waste that you produce as much as possible. With that said, you can do your part in waste reduction by doing most, if not all, of the tips mentioned in this article.