Our daily waste and recycle stream is choking our oceans and clogging our landfills. The adage “reduce, reuse, recycle” has not significantly reduced the number of recyclables that get dumped in landfills, the oceans, or shipped off for sale to countries without the infrastructure to process it properly. What we do on a daily basis has a global impact. We are all part of the whole that makes this world a safer, cleaner place.
Reduce and Recycle Paper in Home and Office
Not just at home, but also in the office, can each of us have a protective impact on our world. It is estimated that over 90% of office waste can be recycled. While some of our records need to be stored on the paper, e-billing and emailing can greatly reduce the paper waste that comes every day in the snail mail. It’s easy to switch to the non-paper route, and it eliminates the annoying daily chore of sorting through the smelly junk mail.
Repair Don’t Replace
“A stitch in time is worth nine” is the premise for extending the life of your appliances, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. The normal wear and tear of your household major appliances are covered in home warranty coverage. Keeping up the maintenance of your appliances can save thousands in replacement costs.
Replace Single Use Plastic with Reusable Alternatives
The ubiquitous water bottles, grocery bags, trash, and recycle bags are part of our daily life. They don’t have to be. If you forget that reusable grocery bag, which many of the stores either give away or sell at a small price, then ask for paper. It will degrade in your lifetime. Also, try buying recycled trash and recycle bags.
A reusable water bottle and coffee thermos can replace those single-use plastic options and take away our need for straws. Straws disrupt our recycle centers and cause injury to ocean life. Starbucks and most of the other coffee chains will make up your favorite drink in your own reusable thermos.
Garden-to-Table Dining at Home
Garden-to-table cuisine is very trendy in restaurant dining. Why not do the same thing at home? The amount of plastic, reinforced paper, and Styrofoam trays mount up with trips to the prepared section of your grocery store. Also, most recycling centers don’t accept Styrofoam. By preparing your own food, you will be kind to your budget and the environment.
Homemade Personal Care Products
Whether you make it from scratch from the myriad of how-to's online, buy it from one of the cottage industries on Etsy, or use local vendors, try bath bars and shampoo bars instead of bottles. There is a myriad of commercial skin care products that can be replaced by quality homemade equivalents.
Buy In Bulk
All the packaging that comes with smaller size products has a greater impact on the waste stream than large, bulk alternatives. Saving the environment comes with savings in your wallet.
Have a Yard Sale Not a Trash Day
To ensure a fast and complete removal of all the clutter in your garage and attic, price the items to sell. Your next yard sale will draw a larger group, as well.
Your vegetable or flower garden will thank you when you feed them with compost. Feeding your plants is better than feeding the waste stream.
Buy Used Lawn Furniture
Old steel and aluminum lawn chairs are well built and will last longer than the flimsy plastic lawn chairs, which, when broken, add a permanent addition to the landfill.
Use LED bulbs and Unplug Your Electronics When Not in Use
The simple cost-effective steps of buying led light bulbs and unplugging your electronics when not in use cuts down on electrical energy waste as well as your monthly bill. Your electronics are the biggest consumers of phantom energy which accounts for about 10% of your electricity bill.
Are you ready to start reducing the waste you leave behind? Keep our 10 tips in mind and you’ll have a great start!
Guest post by Amanda Turner
About the Author
Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing.
You may also like