10 Things You Can Do in Your Home TODAY to Limit Waste
If you've read our last blog post, "The Scary Facts About Waste: An Overview", you probably felt shock and horror to find out the amount of waste people produce in a single year. After all, waste that would fill up about 329 women's purses seems like a hard load to carry (pun intended). If you've been moving closer to living a sustainable lifestyle, this figure might leave you disheartened and directionless, but believe it or not, there are some things you can do in your home TODAY that will help you limit the amount of waste you produce.
For our definition, waste includes textile, food, paper and plastic waste, trimmings and metals, and miscellaneous disposables. It's those t-shirts that you throw away instead of donating. It's the plastic bottles that end up in our oceans and the newspapers that you read and toss. It's the old school TV you sit out for bulk trash pickup and any other things you get rid of instead of finding other uses for.
I want to preface this post by stating my sincere belief: that zero waste is impossible. I know that for someone who loves the earth, dislikes plastic and wants to see climate improvements happen, this phrase seems a little 'glass half empty'. But I think we are going to have waste in one way, shape or form. It's how much waste we choose to have that makes all the difference in the world. Our goal should be to re-evaluate and minimize the amount of waste we produce in order to live a sustainable life-and that comes by a shift in mindset (which is a blog post for another day).
So here you go, my short yet meaningful list of things you can do in your home TODAY that will help you limit the amount of waste you produce.
Buy your food in bulk and divide it into serving-sized containers to save money on groceries and limit the amount of wasted food.
Feel like you're still wasting too much fresh food? Start a compost bin for things like raw fruits and veggies that go bad. If you don't garden, find someone who does, or consider taking your composted goods to a local community garden.
Add a water filtration system to your faucets. If you have fresh water readily available, you don't need to invest in bottled water to keep your family healthy.
Tired of bringing home plastic bags from the grocery store? Limit the amount of plastic you leave the store with by using reusable bags. Our set of 6 reusable produce bags and our farmers market tote, the Zoey, will provide you a sturdy space to load your items without the use of plastic (available on our Etsy page).
Be mindful of the packaging that your goods come in. Both grocery stores and restaurants have products that come in containers that can't be recycled. Consider shopping for items or frequenting restaurants that use recyclable and biodegradable containers.
Find other uses for the jars and containers that your food comes in. Old pickle jars make great storage containers for things like cotton balls and Q-Tips. And those tubs from your butter spread make a great substitute for Tupperware!
Have you went through your home during the pandemic and found out you have way too much stuff? Donate your used, unwanted goods to an organization with a philanthropic mission. It feels good to know that organizations that help domestic violence victims, cancer survivors or the homeless (to name a few) can benefit from the proceeds earned from your excess.
Invest in classic, timeless articles of clothing, accessories, or jewelry that you'll keep longer because they don't go out of style (like pearls, a little black dress, etc. ). And avoid major trends in clothing and home décor whenever possible. A Boho-themed room can only be cute for so long.
Find a person or company that will take your old and broken electronics and repurpose the parts.
Find a fabric recycler that can reuse the fabrics from items you might be too damaged to donate. Our Fabric Recycling Program takes old t-shirts and jeans and reuses the fabric to make accessories, home décor, and pillow and pouf stuffing. For more information, or to recycle your clothing with us, click here.
Are there some things you do in your home to limit your waste? Leave them in the comments below. We'd love to know more!