In the U.S., roughly 230 million tons of trash is generated each year. 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 make a habit of bringing them with you on your shopping trips. You’ll make a huge difference in the waste your home generates.
When you’re ready to take things up a notch, try to reduce packaged goods by bringing your own containers. There are a variety of food retailers who sell food items such as flour, sugar, granola, and trail mix in bulk. By bringing in your own reusable containers, you’ll be greatly reducing the amount of trash you generate.
Avoid Disposable Items
In addition to plastic bags and other containers, you should also avoid anything disposable if you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home. This includes everything from paper towels to dishware and flatware. If it’s only good for one use, then you should look for alternatives.
If your household is big on paper plates and plastic silverware, discontinue using these items. Although they may save you time when it comes to washing dishes, the extra waste you generate just 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
If you’re just 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, try only shopping for what you need. Instead of buying a bunch of ingredients, plan what you want to make ahead of time.
If you have the time, hitting the store at least twice a week is ideal. If not, just 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 so much more.
Once it’s broken down, compost also makes excellent fertilizer for your plants. What’s more, you’ll be attracting insects such as grubs to your compost container rather than your garden.
How to Reduce Waste in Your Yard
If you’re considering strategies on how to reduce waste in your yard, try reducing how much water you use on a daily basis. If you’re watering your grass, for instance, you might be surprised by how much of it is being 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 you start 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 any loose legs or broken pieces. You might be surprised by your own 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 businesses around you that may be able to help you fix 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 major difference by cutting off the amount of paper mail that comes to your door.
Start by canceling any unwanted magazine subscriptions or seasonal catalogs that you don’t need. You’ll need to invest some time, which is a definite inconvenience, but you’ll end up reducing waste around your home in a big way.
If you’re getting a lot of advertisements and other unsolicited mail, you can also put a stop to that. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it’s possible to get your name off mailing lists that continue to send junk mail to your home. Many times, 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 on how 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 around and see 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. Encourage them to ask you for things before buying their own. You may end up making a significant impact on the waste your neighborhood generates as a whole.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you’re wondering how to reduce waste in your home, there are a lot of ways you can do your part.
By reading this article, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. 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.