Reducing your waste is not only a good way to help save money in terms of waste removal, but it is also a great way to help reduce your impact on the environment. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the amount of waste that you produce, there are a few steps that you can take to help reduce your waste. Here are a few tips for cutting back on waste without causing a great deal of inconvenience.
Tip #1: Use Reusable Bags
Taking reusable bags with you when you go shopping is a great way to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags that you use. Reusable bags and containers are also a good option when packing lunches, storing leftovers or when packing items for travel.
Tip #2: Avoid Individually Wrapped Items
When purchasing products, avoid buying those that are individually wrapped or that come in single-serve containers or snack packs. Buying items in large containers or from bulk bins will help to reduce the amount of waste you produce. When purchasing in bulk, however, look out for double-packaging in which bulk items still contain individually wrapped items.
Tip #3: Choose Returnable, Reusable and Refillable Products
Purchasing products that are returnable, reusable or refillable allows you to either use the container over and over again or return it for recycling or reuse. Whenever possible, choose these products over single-use items. You can further reduce your waste by purchasing products that are made from recycled goods or buy purchasing clothing and other items from second-hand stores. Reusing items reduces the amount of waste by reducing the need to manufacture new products. Similarly, purchasing quality products that do not need to be replaced right away can also help to reduce waste.
Tip #4: Purchase Concentrated Products
Purchasing dish soap and laundry detergents in their concentrated forms helps to increase the life of those products, thereby decreasing your need to purchase more products and create waste. Often, purchasing the concentrated forms can also help you save money by significantly decreasing the amount of the product that you need to use each time.
Tip #5: Compost Food Scraps and Yard Waste
Some studies have found that approximately 11 percent of garbage is food and yard waste. Therefore, you can further reduce waste by composting your food scraps and yard waste. Fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grounds and other food scraps can be added to a compost bin along with leaves and yard trimmings.
Tip #6: Find New Uses for Waste Products
Finding new ways to use waste products can also reduce your overall waste. For example, the clean side of unneeded print paper can be used to make a scratch pad. When using a notebook, use both sides of the paper whenever possible. Some items, such as spaghetti sauce jars, old bottles and even keys that you no longer need for arts and crafts projects can also help reduce your waste.