Tips for Reducing Waste

These tips for reducing waste can help you live a greener, healthier life while caring for the planet and your wallet. Cutting out waste makes sense when trash is polluting our water and lands, creating landfills and dumps and costing us a fortune in increased packaging costs and disposal rates. If we all follow these tips, we can make a difference that will have a lasting effect for years to come.

Give up the convenience of disposables. Instead of paper towels, keep a supply of washable rags for wiping up spills or washing dishes. Paper plates and cups can be replaced by inexpensive everyday tableware and cups. Yes, you will have to wash them but the savings will make up for the time spent.

Shopping Habits

Buying in bulk means fewer trips to the store and less gasoline expense. It also reduces on the amount of packaging used for those goods. Grocery shopping is the perfect opportunity to use your reusable shopping bags and cut down on those obnoxious plastic store bags. Purchase items packaged in recyclable materials such as glass or plastic with the recycling code stamped into it.

Shop at your local farm stand. Most of them will take the berry boxes and egg cartons back for re-use. Your foods are more likely to be free of not only unnecessary pesticides but plastic wrap and stickers too. Your efforts will also help boost the local economy by supporting local growers.

Drink your tap water. You will save a fortune and reduce the volume of plastic waste created in your household. Use leftovers by recycling them into other meals before cleaning out the refrigerator. For instance leftover meatloaf can become taco meat or crumbled into spaghetti sauce. Use leftovers and fresh produce before it spoils. This will stretch your grocery dollars. Food that does start to go bad can be composted and used to improve the soil in your garden.

Paper Use Reduction

Use toilet paper made from recycled paper and wrapped individually in paper. Ask your phone company to discontinue providing you with an annual telephone directory. Instead, find what you need online. Sign up for electronic billing and statements wherever possible to reduce the paper used to mail hard copies. Return junk mail to senders by sending their reply cards and forms back to them blank. If enough people do this, the cost they expend on useless mailings will stifle the practice. Reuse any paper that is printed on just one side in your printer or as scratch paper. Check out books and magazines from your local library and donate your books to the public library where you live. As an alternative, download e-book versions to read. You can also reduce the use of plastic by refusing to buy DVDs and CDs. Opt instead to download movies, music and books.

Keep your wardrobe limited and shop only a couple of times each year in order to avoid impulse buys. Pass unwanted clothing, purses and shoes onto second-hand shops and buy your own wardrobe from them too. Learn to sew and mend your own clothes to extend their useful life. Once they have gone beyond clothing usefulness, cut them into rags. You can make rag rugs from many of them and use them at your entry ways or give them as gifts.

Plant vegetation native to your location. Choose drought resistant varieties. Start and maintain a compost bin to dispose of kitchen and yard waste. Return plastic containers to the nursery and buy seeds in bulk as they will last for several years. You can also use your excess and tips for reducing waste to swap with others.

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