As technology advances and social attitudes change, more and more green living pops up. We see more green buildings, cars, and ways of living than ever before as the barriers to entry lower and accessibility increases. In today’s world, anyone can live a greener life and reduce waste. The goal might sound too intimidating for some people, but there is no reason to be hesitant as it has never been easier to go green. Reducing waste is less about one big change or commitment and is instead focused on smaller changes that add up to a more considerable impact. By following these simple yet effective tips and tricks, you can reduce your waste at home and live a more environmentally friendly life without sacrificing your key comforts.
Know The Rules Of Recycling
Recycling is often what most people think of when they want to reduce waste. While recycling is a fantastic thing everyone should be doing, it is not as easy as throwing everything in the recycling bin instead of the trash bin. Recycling varies depending on where you live, as each area can have its own recycling protocols for different materials. Recycling is excellent, but be sure you are doing it correctly before you start putting everything in the wrong bin. Check with your local trash authority to see how your area handles different recyclables. While recycling is a good step, it is also the last step. To truly combat the waste problem, we must use less, reuse more, and recycle what is left.
Ditch The Plastic
Plastic is one of the most significant contributors to the waste crisis. From plastic bottles to plastic bags, plastic wrapping, and everything in between, plastic is everywhere. Some plastic can be recycled, but much of the everyday plastic we use cannot be repurposed. Plastic bags are one of the worst single-use plastic products. We have all used a disposable plastic bag at some point in our lives, but we should all strive never to use one again. Instead of using the store-provided plastic bags, buy a reusable bag you can store in your car or purse. Reusable bags are inexpensive but can ensure you never need a wasteful plastic bag again. Some stores even offer small discounts for bringing in your own bag.
Delivery Over Pickup
Curbside pickup has increased in popularity recently, and while this practice saves you some time, it doesn’t reduce your waste. Driving to and from the store creates the same amount of pollution as if you had shopped in the store yourself. Instead of driving to pick up orders, opt for delivery. Whether a local store is delivering your items or ordering from online, choosing delivery over pickup helps you reduce your personal waste contribution. Most major retailers have adopted the UPS time in transit API, so you will always know when your order will arrive.
Upgrade Your House
You can control how much waste you generate, but your house might be working from old technology. You can take all the green steps you want, but if your home is inefficient, some of your hard work will be undone. Swap out your old water heater in favor of a propane water heater for increased efficacy and cleaner fuel. You could also update your HVAC system or install a programmable thermostat to limit how much energy you use heating or cooling your home. One of the easiest home upgrades is switching out light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs were the standard for years, but CFL and LED bulbs are far better for the environment. Next time one of your incandescent bulbs dies, replace it with a CFL or LED bulb that will last longer, shine brighter, and use less energy than any incandescent.
Repair And Reuse
We have become conditioned to throw out broken things and replace them rather than repairing them. Not everything can be repaired, but many things people toss out could have been saved with a bit of work. The next time a strap comes off of a shirt or your pants get a hole, break out the sewing kit to fix the item instead of throwing it out. If a piece of clothing is damaged beyond repair, look for ways to repurpose it. You can sew old shirts into a quilt of memories or cut them up to make cleaning rags. Simple electronics can be repaired with a bit of research and effort, so there is no reason to throw out a lamp that just needs some TLC. However, inexpensive or low-quality items are typically harder to repair. Instead of spending a little on things that will break, spend a bit more to get a quality item that will last longer, and withstand repairs.
Going green to reduce waste might sound intimidating, but it is easier than it seems. Start by learning the rules of your local recycling sorting and ditching plastic bags for a reusable bag you can store in your car door. Choose delivery over pick to reduce pollution, upgrade your house to be as green as possible, and repair items rather than replacing them. Using these simple steps, you can significantly impact how much waste you produce at home and throughout your daily life.
About the author:
Naomi Shaw is a freelance journalist residing in sunny Southern California with her husband and three children. She is a work-at-home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry, and everything weddings!