Every day, each home throws away ounces (if not kilograms) of trash every single day, resulting in landfills the size of small towns. To reduce the amount of pollution in the world, we must reduce the amount of garbage we throw from our houses. Here are 10 easy ways to reduce trash at home.
Reduce the amount of paper coming into your home
Every month, we receive several posts such as utility bills, bank statements, and membership newsletters. You usually look at these for a couple of days and throw them out as soon as you’re done with them. Instead of tearing several pages of paper and throwing them in the bin, why not switch to electronic statements and bills via email? Most companies today offer this option and it has the potential to save thousands of trees every month. Take some time to switch to paperless posts, it’s hassle-free, reduces trash, and makes you more eco friendly.
Don’t buy single servings of beverages
Instead of buying a carton of small juice boxes, why not buy larger ones instead? They are relatively cheaper, carry more juice in a relatively lesser amount of packaging, and have pretty much the same shelf life as your single servings. I won’t mention beverage cans here though, you can buy large plastic bottles of coke instead, but plastic bottles are pretty much the last thing we need right now (albeit it still does reduce the trash thrown away, an interesting dilemma).
Use “reusable” everything!
Another easy way to reduce trash at home is to use reusable items instead of single-use products. From bags to containers to mugs to water bottles, there’s almost nothing that doesn’t have a reusable alternative (I’ve heard there are even reusable toilet papers!). Reusing stuff means that you are no longer throwing out single-use items, which means a lower amount of trash. You also get to save a lot from not having to buy single-use containers over and over again, so it’s a win for your pockets and the environment too.
Know what to recycle
Obviously, there are some things that cannot be recycled regardless of how you use it; that banana peel isn’t going to be recycled into a new banana (but you can have it composted though), but there is stuff around you like used up food cans and plastic bottles that you can send in for recycling. To do this, you can either deposit recyclable material into the nearest community recycling bin in the area, or contact your local waste management authority to explore the options you have on how to have recyclable items picked up from your home.
One obvious way to reduce trash at home is to buy lesser amounts of stuff. Buy what you need right now and not for the next 15 months just because “it was on sale”, trust me you won’t use it and it will end up in the bin a few months later. Buying fewer means there are lesser unused items in the trash bin, and it would also save you a lot of money if you do it right.
Make your own coffee instead of buying from the store
Buying store coffee means you get those thick paper cups with plastic lids on top. These are extremely harmful to the environment due to the plastic and the cup both being non-recyclable (they contain a coating on the inside that renders the whole thing useless after a single use). If you can’t afford to make your own coffee for some reason, or you just have to get it from the store, take your own reusable coffee flasks (they’re pretty cool!). The barista would gladly serve it to you in your own flask if you ask nicely.
Buy glass containers instead of squeezable packs
You might have found ketchup or jam to be available in both glass jars and squeezable plastic packaging. Always try to buy the glass jars if you can; they are re-usable and recyclable too, in contrast with the squeezable packages which are absolutely useless once you’re done with them and are not recyclable by most companies.
Stop buying bottled water
I cannot stress this enough. Disposable water bottles are by far one of the largest pollutants on earth, and to stop this pollution we need to ban bottled water entirely. Use the water at your home for drinking, and if the water supply at your home isn’t clean enough, consider installing a filter and fill up your reusable water bottles from there. Reusable water bottles can be carried anywhere and last for several months. Having a reusable water bottle at home will help you save money and keep your trash minimum.
Repair your stuff
We’ve all succumbed to becoming lazy and having everything done for us, and in doing so have started throwing out stuff that we can sometimes easily repair or have repaired instead. We feel that buying new stuff is much easier, but we don’t realize that the old stuff we already had is going to the trash with other rotten stuff (that’s a lot of stuff). Start off by trying to repair the little things you have lying around that don’t work, or have them repaired by a specialist, it might just save you a few bucks.
Compost your organic waste
Another easy way to reduce trash at home is to start composting your organic waste. People with families usually have dinner made at home and also occasionally do gardening. But how do these two things relate? The vegetable and fruit peels you discard can be composted to form a nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use while gardening, and you literally just need to throw them into a bin (a compost bin, that is) and that’s it. In a few weeks, the waste will compost into the soil that you can use to grow flowers or even more veggies, a pretty cool eco-friendly hack don’t you think?