Each year, we are creating two billion tons of waste worldwide. This is… a lot! We should all take concrete actions to change the game and drastically reduce waste and go green.
This figure is alarming and experts believe it is going to increase by 70 % over the next 30 years.
In the United States alone, each individual produces about 808 kilograms (1 781 pounds) of trash every year.
There are so many habits we can easily implement in our daily lives to lower the amount of waste we create and minimize our footprint on the planet.
And the thing is, you don’t need to turn your whole life upside down to do so. Just try to do your best and you will soon be implementing them without even thinking.
In this blog post, I am writing about 5 easy ways to reduce your waste and go green today.
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1 – Ditch the plastic bags
I’ve already written about how reducing your plastic consumption helps the environment, but here, let’s focus on plastic bags.
When you are at the store, stop accepting plastic bags. They are very bad for the environment. Plastic bags are made from oil and the oil industry is among the most polluting ones in the world.
During the production process, substantial quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and toxic waste are released into the atmosphere. This accelerates climate change, sea-level rise, and ocean acidification.
But we should also avoid plastic bags if we consider the issue with the end of their life.
A plastic bag is on average used for only 12 minutes but it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. If it ends up in nature, it causes a serious threat to wildlife and the environment.
We should all stop using plastic bags and switch to reusable (organic) cotton ones. Of course, if you already have plastic bags, try reusing them for as long as possible.
At the end of their life, I suggest that you use them as trash bags. This extra tip is a good way to reduce your waste even more.
Avoiding plastic bags is maybe the most famous tip to reduce waste and go green.
2 – Start a meal plan
Food waste is a huge problem, especially in the Western world. A third of all food that is produced worldwide goes to waste. This is a frightening figure!
It is a serious issue not only because food production involves deforestation and C02 emissions.
When we throw away food and it sits in landfills, it releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more dangerous for the environment than CO2.
In our societies, we are wasting huge quantities of food because we often buy more than we need. As a result, we often throw away the surplus of food we have, which we can easily avoid.
By only buying food that we know we are going to eat, we drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce in the kitchen.
If you create a meal plan, you basically will know what food you and your family are going to consume in the week. This should dramatically reduce the amount of food waste you are creating each year.
3 – Repair your things
Nowadays, too many people are still sending broken things to landfills when they could just have repaired them.
Of course, we cannot repair every broken thing. We need to trash some broken items which have come at the end of their life and that we cannot fix.
However, we can easily sew a small hole that appears in our clothing. If you don’t know how to sew, there are so many tutorials online.
You can repair all kinds of things, be it furniture, appliances, or toys. Same thing here, I am sure there is a video on YouTube that will perfectly explain how to repair your item.
By owning some basic tools, we can achieve a lot! I think this is one of my favorite ways to reduce waste and go green!
Repairing your things will not only be better for the environment, but it will also be great for your wallet. You can save a lot of money by repairing your things instead of buying their replacement.
4 – Get a reusable water bottle
Try to stop buying disposable water bottles. We find a humongous amount of plastic bottles in the oceans each year.
The thing is, they are useless if you live in a country where it is safe to drink tap water.
Also, drinking from plastic bottles can be harmful to your health since toxic chemicals such as BPA can leach into your water.
Instead of disposable bottles, you can purchase a quality reusable water bottle that you will fill with tap water.
Bringing your reusable water bottle with you when you’re traveling is a great way to reduce waste on the go and to travel in an eco-friendly way.
I recommend getting a stainless steel one that is double-walled insulated. This means that if you put a hot drink in it, it will stay hot for hours which is super practical in the winter.
Another great thing is that, in the summer, your cold water will stay cool for a while, even if it sits in the sun.
Of course, getting a reusable bottle is an upfront investment. But over the long term, you will end up saving a lot of money.
It is also possible to get a filtration system if you want to make sure the water you are drinking is safe and clean.
If you don’t want to ditch plastic water bottles, please at least try recycling them if that is an option in your area.
5 – Bring your reusable cutlery set with you
When you are outside of your home, avoid using plastic cutlery to eat food. You can easily bring your own silverware from home. I suggest that you wrap it up into a reusable cloth for it to stay clean.
Some people choose to buy a reusable wooden or bamboo cutlery set. I understand why because it is lighter in your bag, but you don’t absolutely need it.
You already have all you need at home. For instance, I used to bring my own silverware when I used to eat lunch at work.
By doing so, you will save a ton of money from not having to constantly purchase plastic ware. You will also save the environment by not sending one-time-use plastic to the landfill.
These 5 tips are easy ways you can reduce your waste today!
If everyone applied them, this would have a massive and positive impact on our environment. A lot of waste would be avoided which is what we need given the state of the planet.
On top of that, these alternatives will make you save a ton of money in the long run. And everyone likes to save money, right?
Which one of these tips have you already implemented into your life? Or maybe, you would like to share your tips with everyone?
Please let us know in the comments.