We often don’t think about the waste we generate at home. But all those plastic bags, food packaging, and other items of junk in your home really does add up. If you’d like to live a more waste-free lifestyle, here are a few things you can do at home to reduce domestic waste and reduce waste wherever you go:
FIFO Practice (First In, First Out)
This term is generally used in business, but can be applied to your home as a cleaning method. The general rule is to organize things in a way that reduces time wasting, for example, break down what needs to be cleaned and tidied in each room first and sort those things before moving on to the next stage of cleaning.
Shift to Paperless Accounting
Instead of sifting through a years’ worth of paperwork, receipts, and pay checks, consider going paperless and doing your accounting on the computer. Start requesting digital receipts to reduce paper waste. This method is also a quicker way to sort out your accounting.
Purchase Funny Foods
We all know what we expect fruit and veggies to look like, however there are so many ‘imperfect’ veggies going to waste because they are not aesthetically pleasing. Most farmers markets and supermarkets sell ‘Funny’ or ‘Wonky’ fruit and vegetables—which are perfectly normal and delicious, but somewhat misshapen. By buying these things, you may end up with oversized carrots, or oddly-shaped peppers and potatoes. Buying ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables can cut down on food waste.
Sustainable Food Preparation
If you plan out your meals for in the week or like to take food with you to work, make sure you put it in recyclable or reusable containers.
Shift Your Coffee Game
If you find yourself going out to get coffee on the way home after a long day at work, you might want to invest in a travel mug, instead of bringing all the those single-use paper cups home.
Sell Your Old Belongings
Rather than throwing out your old belongings, consider whether they may be of use to someone else. This way, you can declutter your home, make some cash, and reduce the amount of things you put in the trash.
Go with Reusable Diapers
Diapers take up a lot of space in the trash, so you should consider using washable cloth diapers.
Bring a Picnic Basket
Planning a day out with the family in the summer. To discourage the use of plastic cutlery and containers and Styrofoam cups that are usually offered in grab-and-go restaurants, take a picnic basket with you and pack your dishware and food in reusable containers.
Ditching Plastic Bags
Instead of bringing home several plastic bags every time you go to the supermarket, make a habit of bringing your own reusable bags with you during your weekly shop.
Ditch plastic wrap and tinfoil in favour of beeswax wraps and silicone bowl covers, replace Ziploc bags with washable freezer bags, and swap out kitchen roll for washable cotton cloths and napkins.
Make Use of the Freezer
We tend to forget a lot of the things we keep in the fridge, and over time, things pass their expiration dates or go off. Many food products you buy can be kept in the freezer, so they will last longer. You just have to remember to take them out, so they have plenty of time to defrost before you use them. Remember, any leftover vegetables or fruits can be frozen and used later in smoothies, soups, and stews.
Sign Up with a Skip Bins Service
Find Skip Bins vendors near you and sign up to have a skip dropped off at your doorstep. It will keep you from the hustle of garbage handling and will also encourage you to have a regular and thorough clear out.
Image Credits: Nareeta Martin