In 2013, Americans created 254 million tons of trash, and that number has only increased in the past few years. Worldwide, consumption and creation of waste has never been higher, and with global warming and climate change becoming a serious threat, this practice needs to change. Some people, however, have already reduced their consumption and waste creation dramatically; many people nowadays are living a “zero-waste” lifestyle, where they aim to have as little of what they use end up in a landfill as possible. Here are a few tips from the zero-waste movement to reduce your household waste.
- Reusable containers: Disposable containers are everywhere. From plastic food packaging to disposable water bottles, it’s easy to forget just how much trash we create by choosing pre-packaged items. Whenever possible, bring a reusable container that you can then wash and re-use. You’d be surprised how much less trash you create when you’re drinking out of a reusable water bottle and using reusable fabric bags at the grocery store.
- Repair, don’t replace: With how cheap certain products have gotten nowadays, it’s often easier to replace items than repair them. Why sit around mending clothing when a new shirt is only a few dollars? However, every time you throw out that ripped pair of jeans or worn out shoes, they end up in a landfill. Try to repair what you use, rather than replacing, to help keep items that could still be usable out of landfills.
- Simple swaps: Take some time to make a list of all the disposable items in your house; you’ll be surprised how much you buy just to throw it away. From disposable utensils to razors to shampoo bottles to dryer sheets, there are plenty of household products that have reusable alternatives. Try to keep track of exactly what it is you’re using, and you’ll be more mindful about your purchases in the future.
No matter how you choose to reduce your waste in your life, doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Even one of these tricks could help you cut down significantly on your waste creation, helping you save the environment.