If you’ve read the news or looked online recently then chances are you’re aware of the state that our planet is in. And it’s not a good one.
Every day we as humans create literal tons of waste that end up in our landfills, oceans, rivers, streets and everywhere in between.
We can’t erase the damage that is already done but we can make subtle changes to prevent the creation of new waste.
You’d be surprised at some of the things we do in our day-to-day lives that create excess waste.
So here are a few easy but effective changes you can make TODAY to cut back waste!
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How to create less waste:
1. Invest in a kitchen composter –
A great way to keep waste to a minimum. You can compost almost any food scraps including fruits, vegetables, eggshells, cooked rice, cooked pasta, coffee grounds, tea leaves and so much more.
You can also compost things from your bathroom, office and all over your house like coffee filters, un-waxed cardboard, used napkins and paper towels, pencil shavings, cotton rounds, tissues, toilet paper rolls, and paper bags.
Make sure to google what you can and cannot compost to be sure. You can use your compost in your garden, potted plants and so much more. This is a fantastic way of”recycling” that overall creates less waste ensuring even your scraps get a second life. This is the bin that I use and it’s AMAZING.
Related reading: How to compost indoors
2. Re-usable shopping bags and produce bags –
Buying them isn’t the issue, the only issue is remembering to actually take them into the store with you.
If you’re serious about creating less waste then it’s time to actively remember. Put a reminder on your phone, and keep them in your purse at all times. Whatever it takes, do it. Not only is it SO much better for the environment but it’s so much better for your wallet too. These are my favourite because they fold down so small and I can always keep them in my purse!
3. Re-usable coffee cup and water bottle –
Another wonderful habit to get into is carrying around a reusable mug and water bottle. Especially when going out for coffee or getting coffee to go this is a wonderful way to help not contribute to excess plastic waste.
The same goes for water bottles. No need to buy plastic bottles again if you’ve got a trusty reusable bottle. My favourites are both by Hydroflask! An amazing company and keeps your drinks hot/cold for HOURS!
4. Re-usable straws –
Probably the most common way people choose to cut back on waste.
When at a restaurant, simply do not use the straws given to you but use your own! I carry around 2 or 3 bamboo straws in my bag at all times and it’s amazing knowing that I have them there for my use. You can use stainless steel straws as well but I prefer the naturally made bamboo ones.
The exciting news is that a lot of restaurants are starting NOT to give out straws unless requested. So make sure to bring your own and don’t request one! This one comes in a little pouch making it super easy to pack along!
5. Bring your own to-go container
Speaking of restaurants: if you’re like me and you tend to never finish your meal at a restaurant then be sure to pack your own to-go container to save yourself the extra waste!
I promise, people only look at your funny half of the time but who cares? You do you and protect the planet! This one is great because it has different compartments for different food and a handle for easy carrying!
6. Buy in Bulk
Things like baking supplies, nuts, dried fruit, candy and much more is sold in bulk. Opt to bring your own bulk bags or even mason jars to fill up. It’s often cheaper than buying them in their packaging and it’s safer for the environment as well.
7. Buy food/supplies in boxes and cans rather than plastic
Things like noodles, lentils, and even laundry detergent can come in plastic bags, bottles, tin cans AND cardboard boxes.
Cardboard boxes and tin cans are the safer options because they’re more easily recycled, re-purposed or if you have a kitchen compost, you can even compost the cardboard boxes!
Ditch the plastic and lighter fluid (and the constant need to repurchase!) and switch to a reusable lighter that can simply be charged and continue lighting! This is the one I’ve had for YEARS!
9. Give up gum – gum is terrible for you to begin with. Yes, even the sugar-free gum but that is a topic for another time. Did you know that gum is made with synthetic rubber? Which is plastic. Yuck. Meaning that wherever it ends up, it won’t break down.
For all the parents out there, this is the safest choice for both baby and the planet. Diapers can often contain plastic and even bleach.
Using cloth diapers will not only save you a TON of money but will also have a positive impact on the planet.
11. Dry your hands with an air dryer
Something as simple as skipping the paper towels in a public washroom can really add up and make a difference.
Drying your hands with air literally means no waste! Yay!
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And there you have it! 10 super simple changes you can start making to have a HUGE positive impact on the planet. It’s not about doing it all, but rather doing what you can.
I don’t think that being 100% zero-waste is practical for most people so here are just a few ideas to help get you started on your journey to less waste.
As always, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to pin this post and follow me on Instagram for daily inspiration!
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