There are many simple and creative ways to reduce waste at home. You’ll soon realize this is not only about winning a point towards the planet, but you’ll also free yourself from a ton of rubbish that takes you time!
If you want to change the environment positively, your home is the best place to start. The truth is tons of garbage originate from our homes, and it is difficult to get rid of it once it piles up in landfills. It’s easy to think that incineration is the best way to go about it, but this method releases toxic gases into the air.
In recent years, there has been more advocacy for recycling and repurposing things that could become waste to help maintain a clean environment. In this guide, you’ll get strategies from longtime junk removal professionals on how to reduce waste right from your home:
1. Have a Weekly Food Plan
How often have you had to discard rotten food items from the refrigerator? The truth is discarded food is the most significant source of waste in most homes. This is primarily due to poor meal planning. It is unsightly to have a landfill full of organic waste, not to mention the foul smell that comes from them. The gas produced in the landfills is methane, a hazardous air pollutant.
You can change this situation by planning your menu and writing down a list that you will use to do bulk shopping for the necessities and avoid impulse buying. When bulk shopping, keep in mind the expiration dates for the perishables while shopping. Ensure that you also have storage measures in place to preserve the foods or drinks to your liking. In the long run, bulk shopping also saves you money.
2. Rent Items Instead of Purchasing
We all want to be private and independent with everything we own. However, if we look at this critically with environmental preservation in mind, you don’t necessarily have to own every piece of equipment in your home. As long as you have the regular-use essentials, you can rent out the rest of the secondary items. For example, if you mow your lawn after every two weeks, you can hire lawn professionals to do that work efficiently with their tools.
Alternatively, you can rent the equipment from them if that is an option and return them once you’re done. Renting out may seem expensive, but it also reduces your burden for storage maintenance and prevents you from living in a cluttered environment. In fact, for significant life events like weddings, parties, outdoor travels, we hire most items. So, why not use this principle to live a better life?
3. Make Smart Purchases
If you work with the “quality over quantity” rule, then you’ll have mastered the art of smart shopping. Most of us tend to buy substandard items which are not long-lasting, and sooner or later, you will have to ditch them even after keeping them away in your garage.
Manufacturers also take their time developing quality products, and it’s hard for any of those high-quality items to break down or get spoiled having not served you enough. They’ll also give you an extended warranty period if the purchased item becomes faulty for easier replacement or repair to discourage you from the disposal. Why not save up to buy quality items for your home instead of purchasing substandard items which will break down after a month or two?
4. Buy Reusable Items
You can’t always rely on borrowing and making clever purchases all the time. Once in a while, you will want to order takeout or buy a soda from a vending machine. Unfortunately, the packaging for these items is made from environmentally hazardous plastics.
The last option is to dispose of these single-use items, and we agree, the disposal is not the best. Examples of single-use things include; water and beverage bottles, coffee cups and lids, straws, packaging materials, plastic cutlery, etc. Moving forward, consider purchasing items with a refillable or reusable mentality. A few examples;
- Bring your takeout container to a restaurant
- Carry a refillable water bottle
- Use reusable shopping bags when shopping
- Pack lunch in reusable containers
- Invest in reusable cloth kitchen napkins
Alternatively, you can get creative and repurpose these plastics by using them as planters or decoratively in your home.
5. Sell Or Donate
We all want to spruce up our homes at some point. One good way to do this is with a thorough cleanout. Remove old household items like furniture, clothes, cookware, utensils, toys, etc. Some electronics or other appliances may have fully broken down or need minor repairs to regain their usefulness.
After you have decluttered, but before getting rid of anything, ask yourself if the items can benefit someone else. If old furniture, clothes, or toys are still in good shape, you can donate them to charities or hold a yard sale to pass them along to a new family that would benefit from having them.
6. Repair Rather Than Discard
Your first instinct when something breaks down may be to simply discard it and get a new one. If your refrigerator is not keeping your food cold enough, you might think it is best to cut your loss and find a better refrigerator. It’s cheaper to repair than to replace. This is why earlier on, we recommended purchasing quality items. To reduce waste, first, try and fix the things, especially if they’re essential to you.
For smaller items, not major appliances, you can learn simple DIY repairs. For example, you can learn to sew and patch your clothes instead of throwing them away after a tear. Nowadays, you can get any information online without much hassle. However, if the broken or torn item is too technical to repair, assign that to a professional for fixing.
7. Set Up a Compost Bin
Many homeowners have small home gardens where they grow plants or vegetables. Have you ever thought of making natural compost for your garden? The ingredients for this are right in your home and are commonly referred to as organic waste like grass, fruit and vegetable peelings, leaves, stale bread, grass clippings, bush trimmings, etc. Instead of mixing them with the rest of the waste material, designate a compost area or get a specific bin to decompose them. That decomposition makes the best natural fertilizer for your home garden.
8. Opt For Digital Alternatives
As you may have noticed, newspapers are no longer as popular as they used to be, and most companies provide information through digital channels. Print media may be phased out entirely with time as more people embrace digital media. In a digitized world, you now have the power to reduce the hard copies of junk mail being delivered to your home or mailbox every month.
With the worldwide use of mobile phones, landlords don’t have to send utility bills in paper form, but instead, send them in short message text to wherever you are. The first step is to speak with the companies sending the mail to get you off their mailing list. If they have digital options, you can give them your email to keep receiving that information without the paper waste.
We all must preserve our environment for us and the generations to come. If everyone took the initiative to do this, landfills would be a thing of the past. With the above-listed ways, you can now start the journey to transition your home to the expected eco-friendly environment.