Reducing the waste at home is just as important as recycling. In our houses we produce a lot of waste which may damage our natural environment and the organisms living in them. Therefore, to reduce our ecological footprint we must take measures to reduce the waste material produced in our homes.
Here are few ways that we can reduce waste in our homes and improve the environment in the process;
1. Buy in Bulk: When out for shopping buy items in bulk, this not only reduces the cost of packaging but you can also purchase only what is needed. You can also use reusable containers so that they can be used again and again.
2. Buy what’s needed: Don’t buy things which you don’t need, buy only the most important items which are required in daily activities.
3. Gardening: Why not make your own food? Gardening allows you to make your desirable food and according to the amount you need. This reduces the chances of food going bad and also reduces your expense of purchasing food from supermarkets when you can make them in your own backyard. It also becomes a habitat for various organisms. Wouldn’t you like to be a good host?
4. Compost at Home: Starting a Home-compost is very easy, you just need a little research and off you go. Our homes consist of a lot of waste containing organic material which can be separated and used to form soil-enriched compost.
5. Buy quality rather than quantity: Obviously buying a quality item is expensive but its durability helps in the long run and eventually makes up for the cost. Buying a poor quality item which breaks and needs to be replaced again and again increases waste and eventually costs the same as just buying the high quality item in the first place, sometimes even more!
This is why high quality items are a bit expensive, a lot of research and development goes into the product’s durability and that takes up money.
6. Buy items which can be repaired: If an item does break, the ability of that item to be repaired is vital and can improve its cost effectiveness by reducing the time it needs to be replaced. So a lot of items manufactured today are tested on terms of eco-friendliness, sustainability, durability as well as its capacity to be repaired.
7. Reuse things: You can use jars purchased from supermarket for storing or preserving food and preventing them from moisture. The possibilities and ideas are endless in this. There are more than a hundred things you can reuse one way or another, just like how you can stitch together your old clothes to make a blanket out of them.
8. Mason Jars: These jars have many other uses other than canning; they can be used for storing homemade goods, leftovers and a medium for carrying out fermentation at home.
9. Make your own body products at home: Why not use quick search of the internet and make your own body products by using things readily available at home. Lotions, creams and ointments can all be made at home easily. This will reduce the waste produced by the packaging that comes upon buying of these body products and also saves you money.
10. Cook from scratch (Raw food): Processed foods are very convenient, however their packaging produces waste and cooking them requires a lot of energy. It’s better if you cook right from scratch using raw materials. Although this is time consuming, you can cook good healthy organic food which tastes delicious and is eco-friendly.
11. Buy used items whenever you can: Even if you can afford something new, there is no shame in buying a used item. Garage sales, Yard sales and thrift shops all serve this purpose. This allows people to find things they may require at a very good price, just remember this saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
12. Make your own cleaning supplies: Similar to the homemade body products, you can also make cleaning items from your home resources which are non-toxic and relatively cheap alternative to the commercially available products. All required is a little bit of effort and good research.
13. Buy reusable water bottles: Don’t throw the disposable water bottle once after using it, fill it up again with water, just because it’s a disposable bottle doesn’t mean you can’t use it several times. Biodegradable bottles are available for use but the thing is, it’s not sustainable if you use them just once.
14. Bring your own food: School, College, and Offices all contain cafeterias to eat but why not make your own food from home and save up on your wallet and reduce waste? You can get small plastic-free containers to take your lunch to the office, school or wherever. This also takes care of your health as you won’t be eating a lot of junk food then.
15. Consider borrowing an item rather than buying it: Why not just borrow an item? From your friend, relative or your neighbor if it is to be used for a limited amount of time rather than purchasing that specific item which will eventually be of no use. All it will do is take up the space In your wardrobe.
All the effects of huge population pressure on the environment are right in front of us, including climate change, global warming, water pollution, air pollution and whatnot. These are the reasons which have made us think about alternative minimalist lifestyles to help reduce the level of pollution or at best, prevent it from worsening. And also, with the new year coming on ahead, how about you embrace such a lifestyle!
Further Reading: 105 ways to live a sustainable lifestyle!