Living a waste-free life is easier than you think with simple tips like these…
Waste is a huge problem in the modern world – not just in the sense of improper management of resources and financial loss, but also due to its impact on the environment. For decades, American consumers have been purchasing items wrapped and packaged in layers of excess packaging – many of which (both the items and the packaging) end up in landfills. Water pollution and destruction of wildlife are just two of the results of all this waste.
It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this problem, so some people think that their individual actions won’t make any difference. This is simply not true, and your actions, behaviors, and habits absolutely do matter – especially when multiplied over time.
Below are 4 simple changes you can make today to start living a more waste-free life (for more ideas, check out the link below):
1. Reduce disposables.
The kitchen is the beating heart of any household for unnecessary disposable items, many of which I have chosen to replace. For example, I now use reusable rags instead of paper towels and pack my lunch in glass containers, rather than using plastic sandwich bags.
Outside of the kitchen, we can make many small changes as well. Do I really need to place my produce in a plastic bag before purchasing it? I never use that plastic bag once I unpack my groceries and put them in the fridge. What about bags that the food is packed in to take home? I can bring my own bags, thank you.
2. Buy in bulk.
I try to pack several different-sized mason jars in a reusable bag to bring with me to the grocery store as I purchase flour, granola, nuts, and even cheese from the deli counter. Some stores, such as Whole Foods, are more accommodating of this method than others, and they will actually weigh the jars prior to purchasing goods.
I have also chosen to replace my body wash, shampoo, dish soap, and hand soap with castile soap, which you can buy in large quantities from many major retailers, including Walmart.
I am looking forward to my next waste-free adventure, which is to begin creating all-natural cosmetics and lotions, using recipes that I discover online.
3. Purchase & prepare meals mindfully.
I was appalled to learn that 30 percent of the food that is purchased in the United States goes to waste. To combat this, I have stepped away from preparing the first meal that comes to mind and, instead, have started using the drawer in my fridge to contain foods that are close to expiring. It has been a fun challenge to come up with creative recipes for these food items that I would have otherwise thrown away.
4. Simplify cleaning supplies.
Baking soda and white vinegar are natural alternatives to dangerous chemical cleaners. They are not only less expensive to purchase, but they also eliminate the inevitable plastic bottle waste. I have found these two products alone are much more effective in getting rid of tough stains on kitchen and bathroom surfaces than any bottle of common household cleaner.