Reducing Your Waste – With Small Changes
It is well documented that sweeping changes made to your lifestyle don't necessarily work, such as trying to completely change your diet or increase your exercise routine dramatically.
So, it makes sense that making huge changes in terms of reducing your waste might be overwhelming and you might find yourself reverting back, finding the whole thing too hard.
Reducing your outgoing waste, choosing different food items to help reduce your carbon footprint or simply making a change to one thing in your household like starting up a compost, or switching to a shampoo bar. These things seem small at first but are beneficial in the long term.
A slowly-does-it approach in terms of changing the items in your house is so much better for your bank balance also. When you need to replace something in the house you can look at more eco-friendly alternatives as they come up.
Some initial things to look at in your life are small changes to your food, composting, recycling, committing one day to reduce waste, reusing items, recycling, fixing things, buying second hand and donating items.
Below are some great ideas to try.
Changes to food
To reduce your impact on the environment why not try a meatless day or local produce-only day. Why not try or purchase more foods from a bulk bin shop or buy your vegetables lose rather than using plastic produce bags.
Try baking one item each week to replace an item you would usually buy in plastic. Buy items in glass, aluminium, or paper, over food items wrapped in plastic.
Get into Gardening
Creating a garden, even if it is for herbs or a few tubs with tomatoes in it can be a really great way to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to food consumption.
Save your tomato, capsicum seeds and let things like basil and rocket go to seed over the autumn and save the seeds to plant in late spring.
Look at your clothes and make a resolution to reduce how much you buy and what you buy. Purchase second-hand items for a fraction of the cost and invest the money you save into brands that are more sustainable and are of better quality.
Honestly, composting will reduce your outgoing waste by 50% or more. It is by far one of the most important things we can do in terms of waste reduction. Composting scraps, to then turn into compost and then using that compost to help grow some seedings is a great long-term project.
Placing more carbon into the soil is the single biggest thing we can do to help improve the quality and structure of the soil. Plants grown with added compost have a stronger root system and by composting we can also reduce methane that would have been produced if the same material was placed in a landfill.
Reuse what you can
Ask yourself before you put your empty peanut butter jar into the recycling if it can have another use in your home. Can an old t-shirt be made into a reusable bag or a beautiful cut flower display from old jars?
Before something goes into the landfill ask yourself if it can be mended or fixed.
Recycling isn't the answer to everything, but it is a good way for things that are already produced to be recycled again in another form. Make sure your recycling is clean and check what items can be recycled in your local area.
Have you heard of Waste-Free Wednesday? For one day a week, make a more concerted effort to live a day waste-free! Bring your reusable cup, pack a reusable knife, fork and spoon wherever you go and maybe create a meal from locally grown food items.
Buy second hand
Wherever you can buy something that is already produced, it helps immensely to reduce your carbon footprint.
Donate or sell items
On the flip side, someone else might love your second-hand items. So much is sent to the landfill unnecessarily, donating your unwanted items is great!
Don't forget to praise yourself for the things you are already doing too! – Don’t forget about the changes you have already made, the adjustments you have already initiated and the waste you DONT have because of these changes.
You are amazing!