10 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste This Week
Today marks the 50th celebration of our Mother Earth – Earth Day! Earth Day began back in 1970 when Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, decided that there needed to be a day dedicated to environmental awareness and activism. 50 years later, Earth Day is celebrated globally and is a reminder to take better care of our planet. This can feel like a daunting task so we have put together 10 easy ways that you can start to reduce waste THIS WEEK!
- When you (inevitably) order things online, save your packaging. This includes boxes, bubble wrap, padded envelopes, etc. The next person that you send a package to will appreciate that you truly recycled!
- Get creative; try new recipes to use leftover ingredients. We all have those items in the fridge that we use for one recipe and then regrettably have to throw away once it goes bad. How about actively trying to prevent that from happening? Try Googling ‘recipes with _____’ and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the amount of options that pop up! You can also freeze certain ingredients to use later.
- Use cloth napkins. Raise your hand if you’re a paper towel waster *raises hand*. A much greener alternative to keep yourself clean during meals are cloth napkins. They can be thrown in the wash after a few uses and your paper towel cost and waste will decrease, we promise.
- Clean the counter with dish towels. Another paper towel saver- dish towels! They can be used more than once and can also be thrown in the wash when they’re dirty.
- Swap your food storage bags for glass or plastic food storage containers. Storage bags are disposable, storage containers are forever (ish).
- Remember your reusable bags for grocery shopping, including reusable produce bags!
- Use silicone, glass, or metal straws
- Keep reusable utensils and a reusable water bottle with you at all times – in your purse, briefcase, car – wherever you will be able to easily access them.
- Think before you toss. It’s tempting to simply throw away a recently stained shirt that you will never wear again, but can you use it in a different way somehow? Perhaps as a cleaning cloth or to make into t-shirt for your dog? We won’t judge, as long as you’re repurposing it!
- BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottle. Did you know that coffee chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ will fill up your reusable bottles so that you don’t have to use one of theirs? Local coffee shops will do the same and will often offer a discount when you bring your own drinking vessel, a win/win!
These tips just scratch the surface on how to reduce waste. For more ways to make an impact, check out Kathryn Kellogg’s book 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.