The world is in the brink of a climate crisis, and everyone is involved in waste management to help curb rising temperatures. As an individual, one of the best ways to protect the environment is to find ways to reduce household waste production and progress to a waste-free lifestyle.
In many levels, waste can be problematic. Some of the most prominent issues are the fact that it is a significant pollutant and that it eats up our planet’s finite resources.
Moreover, waste that we send in landfills release methane into the air and leach contaminants into the water. One way to combat this problem is by reducing our household waste production at home.
Most of the generated household waste includes leftover food, single-use plastics, take-out containers, etc., which are classified as:
- Food Waste
- Plastic Waste
- Packaging Waste
With that said, here are ten tips you should know to reduce household waste production.
Reducing Food Waste
1. Use Compostable Items
The advent of technology has allowed compostable items to replace mainstream plastic items. When you compost at home, you are already diverting trash from landfills. Your garden also benefits with your compost since it enriches the soil and improves plant quality.
Start from buying organic versions of typical plastic items such as bamboo toothbrushes, natural loofahs, jute twine, etc. Generally, if we can make a commercial product out of natural materials, then there is likely a compostable alternative to it.
Reducing Plastic Waste
1. Buy Reusable Products
Reducing household waste means promoting reusable products. Luckily, reusable grocery bags and plastic bottles are widely available. Eco-bags and sacks made from old clothing can hold more items than plastic bags.
Besides, these materials can resist wear and tear from sharp packaging edges. Refillable containers and reusable drinking straws can also substitute the plastic waste that’s choking waterways and killing wildlife.
Aside from that, products such as cloth diapers and menstrual cups greatly reduce sanitary waste. Reusable alternatives will save you money and considerably reduce household waste output.
2. Choose Natural Alternatives
Holidays are times for gatherings and celebration, and because of our activities, we use more trash during these times than others. For example, Christmas Day usually accompanies a deluge of cheap and mass-produced decorations ‒ an artificial Christmas tree, plastic wreaths, and plastic platters or utensils on the dinner table.
If you want to put effort into making your holiday decorations organic, then you can make zero-waste products that are more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic ones. A potted real Christmas tree, a wreath out of pine branches, and hanging pine cones are perfect alternatives. Top it with nibbles and holiday snacks on a wooden platter, and you have a more authentic Christmas vibe for less waste.
3. Avoid Disposable Items
Manufacturers sell disposable items with the promise of convenience. However, they are creating a mess that gets to a point where someone has to clean up. Instead of resorting to take-out and deliveries, consider dining in or making your food. Cooking can also become a hobby, and homemade food is healthier than fast food and packaged food.
Furthermore, there are lots of everyday disposable items that we can live without, such as disposable razors and tiny toiletries. Consider using long-lasting and low-waste alternatives instead.
Reducing Packaging Waste
1. Make Eco-Friendly Products
While we’re into avoiding disposable items and diverting into organic alternatives, we can also try making our eco-friendly products. Marketing strategies have convinced people to use commercial cleaning products and snacks, but these come at a huge price for our health, pockets, and nature.
Making your cleaning products and toiletries can be easy. All you need are common natural and inexpensive ingredients, as well as the fundamental recipes.
Cleaners and toiletries are usually combinations of baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. They cost significantly less and takes less time to make than driving to and from the supermarket. Most importantly, they are safe for humans and the environment.
2. Buy in Bulk
Single-serving sizes equal bulk-sized rubbish piles while buying in bulk creates less waste. Buying small quantities will also cost more since you are paying for the packaging as well. And in the end, all of the sachets and packaging go to landfills.
If you buy in bulk, you’ll also need to use refillable containers such as glass jars. There are supermarkets and farmers’ markets that also provide bulk bins for dried fruits, nuts, rice, spices, and other ingredients. Others also have refill stations for toiletry items ‒ remember to bring your reusable containers when shopping.
Reducing Other Waste Output
1. Consider Buying Second-hand Items
Not all of us can afford brand new and high-quality products all the time. But buying second-hand items from thrift stores is, in fact, a smart way to reduce waste as a community. You can also save more on things that are still on the top-notch quality that you otherwise can’t afford brand new.
An example of these big-ticket items is cars. They come in huge discounts when bought pre-owned, and they often have available warranties and guarantees. Manufacturing vehicles cost significant resources, but if you buy them pre-owned, you’ll help reduce carbon footprints from manufacturing as well as keep someone else’s useful stuff from reaching the landfill.
2. Donate Old Goods
Sometimes, you are the ones with more items to throw than more things to buy. But donating your old goods to charity should always be your priority.
Many of us throw away useful items only because we don’t need them anymore. However, these items could provide comfort for the less fortunate. It is best to donate old but gold items such as mattresses, shoes, and jackets than dumping them in landfills. Visit your local charity for more information regarding donations.
3. Reduce Waste First Before Recycling
Not all items can be recycled. Even if you sort out your trash to separate things you think can be recycled, some of them may end up in landfills anyway. Glass, for instance, is usually rejected in common recycling facilities.
Additionally, recycling takes a lot of energy for sorting, processing, and refining the materials. That’s why in the classic “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra, recycling is the last option. Because we have to reduce waste first, then reuse the items that we produced. Finally, recycle those we can’t reuse rather than landfilling them.
4. Utilise Digital Softwares to Reduce Paper Waste
Digital print has become popular with the advent of technology. If properly utilised, this can become a useful alternative for books, magazines, and newspapers. Going digital is a useful way to avoid tons of paper waste that come from millions of trees cut every year.
Taking advantage of software such as e-statements for banks, airline e-tickets, and online payments for monthly bills eliminates waste paper from those extra red-tape description sheets and borderline junk mail.
While reading hardbound books have a different experience than e-books, let’s remember that there are tons of other paperwork that can be avoided by going digital. Electronic folders and files are also easier to organise than bulks of heavy folders on high shelves.
Contributing to preserving our planet does not require much work. But it takes dedication and discipline. It all starts by reducing our household waste production, and you can start now. For your rubbish disposal, let Kurt’s Rubbish Removal will take care of it.
We customise our methods for efficient and safe household rubbish disposal. We want to divert as much waste from landfills as possible. And we make sure that all the waste we collect is recycled or disposed of in the most eco-friendly method.
Call our friendly staff at (02) 9199 2610, or send us an email at [email protected]