At this point, pretty much everyone is aware that plastic drinking straws are bad for the environment, namely the animals that inhabit our oceans, rivers, and lakes. But that’s just one small aspect of the global waste problem we’re currently facing.
Becoming aware of the impact of straws began a major change in the way we drink beverages. Similarly, understanding how other wasteful behaviors negatively affect our world should help us all reduce our waste and become better consumers.
While it will take major changes amongst the masses to turn our trajectory around, it all begins when individuals start adjusting their personal habits.
Start making an impact on our Earth by reducing your waste generation in these 10 small ways:
1. Reduce Consumption
The first step to reduce waste? Reduce consumption. Start by logging where you are spending your money. Notice which areas cost the most and begin reducing in that area. Once you improve there, find the next budget category to tackle. By simply buying less, we can make a big difference.
2. Avoid Plastic Wrap
Instead of relying on plastic wrap to preserve food or make it portable, consider other eco-friendly alternatives, like Super Bee beeswax wraps. These can be washed and reused over and over again. They work for anything including sandwiches, partially used produce, and a bowl of leftovers.
3. Shop with Reusable Bags
You should strive to always bring your own shopping bags rather than getting a single-use one from the store. This will cut down on the clutter in your house and save a few bags in the process. If you forgot your bags, opt for paper instead of plastic and find a way to re-use it afterward.
4. Support Local
Locally made products require much less packaging, shipping, and manufacturing overhead. Buying these kinds of products supports lower-waste businesses and contributes positively to the environment. Farmers markets are great for purchasing delicious produce without any packaging.
5. Whatever You Do, Don’t Litter
Of course, you should never litter. Throwing trash on the ground with the assumption that someone else will pick it up is incredibly flawed. You should always pick up after yourself. In addition, you can make a difference by simply picking up after those who haven’t.
6. Reuse Food Containers
If your takeout is transported in non-environmentally friendly packaging, find a way to reuse it. Even if you only find one more use for it, you will have just doubled its life span and done a small part in reducing waste.
7. Start Your Own Garden
One way to really reduce the amount of wasteful packaging you consume is to start growing your own food. This will be a fun hobby, provide nutritious food, and cut your produce-related waste down to zero.
8. Stretch Your Groceries
Challenge yourself to stretch your groceries an extra day or two. This practice can help save you a nice bit of money each year and will ensure you’re using what you already have rather than consuming more.
9. Repurpose Furniture
Instead of buying a new couch, consider just reupholstering the fabric. Finding ways to repurpose old furniture cuts down on heavy item shipping costs and reduces the large amounts of waste that commonly come along with these types of products.
If you’re not already, get on the recycling bandwagon. By separating your recyclable waste from your general trash, you can give many of your consumer products a second life!
Even if you are unable to accomplish all of the things on this list, working towards a few sustainable development goals can make an impact. By becoming more mindful of how we consume and waste products, we can slowly improve Earth’s environmental state.