simple ways to reduce waste in the home

So one day a millennial blames a boomer for global warming. “Your generation is the cause of global warming and you deny the scientific evidence!”. This sort of dialogue blame, blame, blame is really disappointing to me. Do you think 90% of people set off intentionally to ruin the planet? Of course not. If you stop and take the time to get to know the people around you, it is easy to see that 90% of us are friendly, good people who mean well. We all do the best with what we have, with what we know and with what we have been educated on. So first, let’s stop the blaming, it’s nonproductive. Negativity doesn’t equate to positive change, a sense of community, pride, and collaboration is where change comes from. I How did the Boomer reply? He simply said, “what can I do to help?”.

What can I do to help my planet? Here’s a list of some things we all can incorporate into our daily lives that are outside of the realm of using less water, recycling, using less energy.

Stop buying

Think before you buy. Yes, compared to many countries in the US we have the ability to recycle, and reuse. Most of us just by walking out our back door to the recycle bin. However, if we all buy a little less, there is less to recycle and less to reuse. Don’t buy just to buy. Ask yourself, “will I use this 2 months, one year from now?”. Bonus…the less you buy, the less you clean.

Buy Conscientiously

Buy glass, ceramic or bamboo household supplies. Buy wood toys instead of plastic toys. Buy local, and buy from sellers who are conscientious about the environment. Choose items that take the extra step to ensure their packaging is environmentally friendly.

Reusable Bags

Buy reusable bags. I get mine from TJMaxx/Marshalls, these are giant bags for 1$. I also get bags from Trader Joes, these are $1.99. They are super cute, have a wide variety of colors/designs. They make great gift bags, and are cheaper than paper gift bags. They are sturdy, you can overstuff them, they don’t tear. Just remember to actually bring them to the store!

Reusable Straws

I like some smoothies during the week and mama cocktails on the weekends. I love using reusable silicone or metal straws. If you need straws that aren’t reusable, use paper straws. They are so classy and cute, and will keep plastic out of the ocean, lakes and landfills.

Buy glass storage containers, not plastic

Switch over to glass and ceramic storage containers. If you do go the plastic direction buy a product that is sturdy and will not need to be thrown away for a long time. Something my husband has done for a long time is reuse plastic baggies. They are plastic and there is no reason you can’t just wash them out and reuse…most times.

Buy organic, or local

Since I have had a kiddo I have been spending less money eating out, and more money on quality groceries. Not only are organic products healthier for you, but the foods are free of chemicals and pesticides. This means overall going organic is healthier for you and the environment.

Meatless days

I’m not a vegetarian, I like meat. When you think of the billions of people on the planet who consume meat, if we all cut back we can save on millions of meat products. So have a couple meatless days a week. That’s something we all can commit to.

Chemical free yard

Why stop at the farms. There’s no reason to have a perfectly manicured, golf course like yard. Plant some perennials, let your landscape reflect your regions natural habitat. For those who live in cold climates, switch to sand instead of salt, or at least pick environmentally/pet friendly products.

Conscientious cleaning products

There are many to choose from, Method, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s, my fave Trader Joe’s. But the best is when you can make your own, because let’s face it…it’s cheap. Baking soda, vinegar and vodka galore. With a drop of lavender or citrus essential oils…wallah! Homemade products work great. My dog got gravely ill from a flea allergy once. I was 7 months pregnant and was not going to use chemicals unless I had to. Guess what worked? Baking soda and a vacuum on everything. Bed couch, floors, pillows. It did the trick instantly. I couldn’t believe it. Those nasty critters were gone baby gone!

Cloth towels and napkins

Switch to cloth towels and napkins vs. using paper towels and paper napkins. I couldn’t believe how much I loved using my cloth napkins. They are pretty, cheap and classy.

Reusable coffee supplies

This is another easy way to conserve. Many coffee shops will fill your cup from home, including Starbucks. Use a reusable filter. Stop using plastic coffee pods, and use the reusable pods for your Keurig.

Walk or ride

Weather permitting, simply walk, run, or ride a bike instead of driving. When possible of course. An obvious win for your health, and good for the environment. I jog or bike to the grocery store, or to pick my son of from daycare when weather permits. Then I don’t have to worry about fitting a workout into my schedule.

There are so many little things that we can all do to help the environment, that take minimal effort to change. Overall, many of these tips will save money as well. Keep in mind, implementing changes in small steps will overtime add up to big lifestyle changes. When million or billions of people make small changes, this equals millions or billions of improvements. Which overall add up to massive change.

How do you reduce waste in your home? I’d love to hear! Comments welcome!

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Hey positive ladies and mommas! I love when women support one another...that's the nurse in me! I love to create a safe, positive environment for us to share our ideas! I'd love to hear any comments or thoughts you might have!