In the U.S., roughly 230 million tons of trash is generated yearly. This is the equivalent of about 4.6 pounds per person every day.
If you’re looking to reduce waste in your household, the time to start is now. Although it may seem like a difficult task, there are small steps you can take that can make a big difference.
Read on for our guide on how to reduce waste in your home.
Switch to Reusable Bags and Containers
Plastic bags have a devastating impact on the environment. They are unsightly and don’t biodegrade properly. Instead, they leave tons of toxic particles behind.
If you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home, it’s time to stop using plastic bags. Switch to reusable totes, and remember to bring them with you on your shopping trips. You’ll make a massive difference in the waste your home generates.
When you’re ready to take things up a notch, reduce packaged goods by bringing your containers. Various food retailers sell items such as flour, sugar, granola, and trail mix in bulk. By bringing in your reusable containers, you’ll significantly reduce the amount of trash you generate.
Avoid Disposable Items
In addition to plastic bags and other containers, you should avoid anything disposable if you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home. This includes everything from paper towels to dishware and flatware. You should look for alternatives if it’s only suitable for one use.
If your household is dependent on paper plates and plastic silverware, discontinue using these items. Although they may save you time washing dishes, the extra waste you generate isn’t worth it. If you’re packing a lunch, use Tupperware and a reusable bag rather than paper bags and plastic silverware.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
Suppose you’re aiming for a fully stocked kitchen whenever you grocery shop; you may be wasting a lot of food. If you’re trying to reduce waste, only shop for what you need. Instead of buying many ingredients, plan what you want to make beforehand.
If you have the time, hitting the store at least twice a week is ideal. If not, queue up all the ingredients you’ll need for the recipes you plan to make and get a list together for your shopping trips.
Start a Compost Bin
You can significantly reduce waste from food scraps in your home by starting a compost bin in your yard. It’s the perfect place to throw coffee grounds, banana peels, egg shells, and more.
Once it’s broken down, compost also makes an excellent fertilizer for your plants. Moreover, you’ll attract insects such as grubs to your compost container rather than your garden.
How to Reduce Waste in Your Yard
If you’re considering strategies to reduce waste in your yard, try reducing how much water you use daily. For instance, if you’re watering your grass, you might be surprised by how much of it is blown away before it reaches the ground.
If you want more specifics on this issue and what you can do, check out this article for some tips.
Don’t Toss It, Repair It
It’s become a cultural norm to continue buying new items while the old ones are doomed to take up space in a landfill. If you’re considering how to reduce waste in your home, this is a toxic mentality to maintain. Instead, you should adopt a “fix-it” mindset and see what can be saved before shopping for a replacement.
For instance, if your clothes and accessories tear, try seeing if you can sew them up instead of tossing them. You can also try tinkering around with broken tools and furniture to see if you can fix loose legs or broken pieces. You might be surprised by your handiness!
For more complicated repairs, such as shoes and electronics, there are often local businesses in your community that can fix them for a fraction of the cost. Search for companies around you that can help you select something instead of throwing it in the trash.
Reduce Paper Mail
If you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home, you can make a significant difference by cutting off the amount of paper mail that comes to your door.
Start by canceling unwanted magazine subscriptions or seasonal catalogs you don’t need. You’ll need to invest some time, which is a definite inconvenience, but you’ll significantly reduce waste around your home.
If you’re getting a lot of advertisements and other unsolicited mail, you can also stop that. However it may seem complicated, but getting your name off mailing lists that continue sending you junk mail is possible. Often, all it takes is a quick phone call to whatever company is sending it.
Share and Borrow with Your Neighbors
If you’re looking for ways to reduce waste in your home, try seeing what you can borrow from your friends and neighbors instead of going out and buying it yourself.
For instance, if you need a power tool for a project, ask if someone has one you can borrow. Or, if you’re planting a garden for the spring, ask your neighbors if they have gardening equipment you could use for the job. You’ll save money and reduce waste at the same time.
In turn, introduce yourself around your community and tell your neighbors about what you have at your house. Please encourage them to ask you for things before buying their own. You may end up significantly impacting the waste your neighborhood generates.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home, you can do your part in many ways.
You’re already taking a step in the right direction by reading this article. Educating yourself and others is a big step towards minimizing your environmental impact. Now that you know some ways to do it, the best time to start is now.
For more home tips, check out our blog.