When it comes to environmental protection, there is so much you can do to benefit the planet and set a fine example for the younger generation. In this blog, we cover some simple tips that can help you to reduce trash in your home.
Although it may not be possible to achieve a zero-waste and plastic-free household with these tips, you can reduce all the trash in your home to a significant extent. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing what is within your power to save the planet.
1. Say No To Plastic Bags
There is no way you can be environmentally-friendly without giving up plastic bags. Even though they are used for no more than a few minutes, plastic bags spell an age of destruction for the environment and suffering for its inhabitants. A plastic bag will ultimately end up in a landfill where it can last hundreds of years.
Make sure that you use reusable bags when going shopping. The tote bag is useful for this purpose and it has become somewhat of a status symbol for the environmentally-conscious.
2. Give Up Plastic Straws
Millions of plastic straws end up in landfills after just a few minutes of use in the US. What’s worse, they can even make it to the ocean where the plastic will keep disintegrating to become even more lethal and hazardous to marine life. You don’t need to give up on straws, though. You can opt for paper or metal straws. Metal straws are not only long lasting, they are also an attractive option.
3. Local Shopping
To cut down your carbon footprint, always shop local, especially for produce. Quite sadly, produce is now hauled hundreds and even thousands of miles to reach your store. This is a needless waste of so much fuel. Equally grim is the negative impact on your local farmers and community. Why support big corporations when you can stand up for local farmers to create a positive impact on both the environment and the local economy?
Go down to your local farmer market for the next grocery trip. An added benefit is that you will also be able to tour the farms and know the conditions under which food is being produced.
4. Plastic-Free Pantry
It is always better to avoid plastic in your pantry since it leaches into the food (especially liquids) from where it makes its way into your body. The health effects of plastic in your body can be devastating. You can benefit both your health and the environment by doing away with plastics in the pantry. Instead, you should invest in glass containers and jars.
Likewise, you should avoid buying plastic cutlery and plates. Plastics are suspected of being carcinogenic and in this era where cancer rates are skyrocketing, it is crucial to reduce the amount of plastic that is in contact with your food.
Composting is a great option to mutually benefit both yourself and the environment. Instead of letting your food go to waste, you can compost it for a great looking garden. Composting leads to healthier plants, better soil and an improved environment. You will also not have to feel bad about throwing away food.
Recycling is an important way of cutting down on waste and household costs. You should visit the website of your local recycler and find out what you can recycle. Keep a note of items that cannot be recycled and make sure that you put them in a recycling bin. There are certain hazardous materials, such as glass, that you may need to dispose of in a special way to avoid injury if your recycler accepts them.
You can also inform other members of your household to dispose of recyclable materials in the recycling container rather than the trash can. You will feel a deep sense of reassurance when you see that your household waste has gone down to a much lower level.
7. Home-Made Soap
Instead of buying expensive soap that is full of harmful ingredients, plus heavy margins on these very same toxins, you can make soap for cheap at your own home. The soap that you are making will also be free of harmful toxins that are a cause of health concern in personal care products. Not only will you find much DIY information online for making soap, but you can also get a lot of valuable tips on making your personal beauty products, personal care items, such as shampoo and toothpaste and cleaning products too. You can save costs by making these items on your own. You can also exercise strong quality control since you are in full charge of what is going inside these products. There is great reassurance in realizing that you are giving toxin-free products to your family members and friends. Besides being a source of personal pride, this can also become a major statement for your environmentally-friendly persona.
With home-made items, you are not just benefitting your own loved ones. The toxins to be found in modern personal care products wind up in rivers and oceans through waste-water where they can greatly harm the local wildlife. It is best in everyone’s interest to avoid synthetic ingredients and products as far as possible.
Instead of throwing away things that don’t work, won’t it be much more pleasing to fix them and put them back in good working order yet again? You will not have to buy as often. You will also hone your DIY skills.
You can think of even learning how to sew torn garments and extend ng their lifespan.
9. Reduce Paper Usage
Try to bring down paper usage as far as possible. You can even go paperless by using electronic documents. There are several steps that you can take to reduce paper usage, such as signing up for electronic news instead of the daily newspaper and buying ebooks rather than paper copies of the same. Paper newspapers and books are relics of the past, besides being detrimental to the environment. What’s more, you can even save up on space by doing away with paper books and newspapers altogether.
Why keep giant stashes of paper when you can conveniently gather them on your laptop or handheld device?
You can think of many other ways of reducing household waste to benefit the environment. Also, be sure to inform others about it.