Reduce Your Household Waste

If you’re reading this, you probably already understand the importance of supporting small businesses and making incremental lifestyle changes to reduce your personal impact on the environment. In a world that puts so much emphasis on instant gratification, mindless consumerism is often used to fill a subconscious emotional need for fulfillment. However, the satisfaction derived from material possessions is short lived, dragging us into a cycle to buy more and more stuff that doesn’t actually make us feel happier. The good news is so many of those habits can easily be broken when we discover alternatives that are just as easy to use, more enjoyable to experience, and often result in saving a ton of money!

When it comes to reducing your impact, start by looking inward and ask yourself questions with a willingness to answer with honesty. Where are you making the biggest impact by producing the most waste? Eco anxiety is a thing, so if you’re feeling it, you’re not alone. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect and embrace any mistakes you make along your beautiful journey to keep learning and improving!

We’ve put together some quick and easy tips you can implement at home today with what you already have. Different tools and programs may be available to you depending on where you live, so solutions will look a little different for everybody. This is your opportunity to think outside the box and take a unique and individual approach!

 

Reduce

This one may seem obvious, but it starts with a mindful approach every time you’re about to head to the store, or as you’re walking down the impulse aisle on your way to the checkout counter. Before you purchase, ask yourself both of these questions; Is this item bringing value to my life? Do I already have this?

Planning ahead of time is the best way to avoid impulse buying, so you don’t buy more of what you already have in storage. You’d be surprised how long it can take to use a product all the way until the end of its lifecycle!

If you’re often on-the-go, consider carrying a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and tote bag along with you. Get into the habit of keeping them in your bag so you’re always prepared. Reusable cutlery sets are a great option, but you can  just take a fork, spoon and knife that you already have in your cupboard, wrap them up in a dishcloth, and carry them in your bag.


Reuse

Plastic has its purpose as an extremely durable material. If you already have cupboards full of plastic food storage containers, use them until they’re completely worn out. If cared for properly, they should last a long time - even longer than you! For this reason, plastic for single-use moments (to transport an item from a warehouse to a store, or from a store to your home), is an extremely harmful habit used by manufacturers. There are many alternatives to single use items that are much more durable and long lasting:


Instead of this

Try this

Plastic produce bags at the supermarket

Reusable produce bags

Single-serving tea bags

Use loose leaf tea with a sachet or stainless steel ball

Zip-up sandwich bags

Swap for wax wraps, or reuse your hummus or yogurt containers

Surgical face masks

Invest in reusable cloth face masks, or even sew your own

 

apples in mesh bags

Liv Nude Reusable produce bags made with 100% organic cotton mesh.

 

Before You Throw it Away

Old toothbrushes are a great tool to scrub down your reusable face mask, or for cleaning hard-to-reach spots on tableware like a vegetable peeler, zester or box grater. If you’re not already using bamboo toothbrushes, seriously consider switching to this more sustainable option!

Cut up an old towel or t-shirt to use as rags for cleaning. If you want to get really fancy, you can cut them into circles to make cotton rounds for your skincare routine!


Repurpose Kitchen Scraps

Did you know you can regenerate some produce, like green onions or leeks, simply by chopping an inch above the root and placing them in a glass of water? Place it in a window sill where it can get plenty of sunlight, and within a couple of weeks you should have a whole new plant ready to eat!


Give your food scraps new life:

  • Dry out used coffee grinds to use in your garden as fertilizer, or as part of your beauty routine.
  • Clean hard to reach places in your bottle or thermos by adding crushed up egg shells & a drop of dish soap. Pop on a lid and shake it up! 
  • Cut up orange or lemon peels into thin slices to make your own cleaning products.
  • Keep your veggie scraps like onion peels, the ends of carrots, celery leaves, potato peels, etc. Store them in your fridge until you have enough scraps to make veggie broth. You can use this same concept with meat bones to make bone broth.

When You Gotta Shop

The truth is, most supermarkets have bad packaging options which can make shopping ethically very difficult for any consumer, no matter how conscious you try to be. This is why finding alternatives and shopping local is so important. You can bring your own cloth or paper bags to a small bakery, find more pantry staples in bulk, or refillable soaps and cleaning solutions. Locally run and community-driven businesses are more likely to offer bring-your-own container options, and may even offer you a discount for doing so!

Thirsting for more low waste knowledge? Be sure to check out our last blog post where we explore the use of essential oils to make your own household cleaning solutions and body care items!




About the Author

Tablö Creative is a digital creative agency dedicated to helping small businesses leave a lasting impression online with our service offerings including content creation, copywriting, branding, social media marketing, web design and development. Our dream clients are brands whose core values are rooted in conscious & mindful operations. We believe that it's our responsibility to protect our planet from the climate crisis, not just through our personal lives, but also through our work. Our communication style supports creativity and freedom of expression by creating meaningful connections.