From both building construction and households, millions and tons of waste are produced every year. Out of this, the majority of waste ends up in landfills with a very little percentage being recycled. This has demanded a high need for waste minimization, as it will put a great impact on the environment and also on substantial economic and social benefits.
This minimization of waste involves restricting the amount of waste that is produced from households and then eliminates this generation of harmful wastes effectively. This elimination has a vision of promoting a society that is sustainable. So, a proper change in societal patterns is involved in waste minimization that directly relates to consumption, production, and redesigning of products to reduce the generation of waste.
Reduce food waste
This is one of the easiest and manageable ways that can help lessen waste and also save money is to be thoughtful of the food you buy.
So, to help with it, don’t go shopping when you are hungry, instead, make a proper list of the food items you already have that can be used up and the ones you genuinely need to buy. Also, change the name ‘leftovers’ to ingredients. To get some more ideas on this, read below.
Make your own toiletries
Try making your own deodorant, toothpaste, and other items. Prefer doing bulk shopping of the ingredients to reduce costs.
To avoid that packaging and limiting day to day living costs, you can make your own toothpaste and also you can use those fruits which have gone beyond its best in making face masks.
Donate your books
You have a good collection of books in your home. Go, donate them as there are plenty of people present who can get the opportunity to reuse them and you can give it to a hospital, local school, old people’s home, daycare centre, community library, hospice or women’s shelter.
Instead of taking new bags from the stores or supermarket, carry your own plastic bags to the shop and fill them with the loose fruits and vegetables of your choice. This is a very good option and much cheaper than buying pre-packaged goods and you don’t have to face the problem of squashed fruits at the bottom of the pre-packaged bag. There will also be minimal food wastage as you only buy what you need. Many fruits and vegetables come with a special packaging, but the point is that do these things need more packaging than nature has provided them?
Try to bring your lunch in reusable containers rather than disposable ones. Also, carry your food in reusable cloth or plastic bags and drinks can be carried in a thermos rather than disposable bottles or cartons. Whenever you are buying your lunch, take only what you need. Please stop taking extra and supplementary napkins and ketchup packets. Try recycling your bottles and cans after you use them once. At school, work hand-in-hand with your teachers to set up a composting program.
Reuse shredded paper
The best way to get rid of shredded paper is the composition. This paper includes confidential information like bank statements. It’s the impeccable method to avoid theft. Pet bedding uses some shredded paper, underneath the straw. Though, you must be aware of toxic inks. Coming on to pets, you can also make use of the shredded paper in the cat litter boxes. Also, as packing materials, shredded paper can be used when sending gifts. It is also environment-friendly than polystyrene (styrofoam) peanuts.
To buy seasonal and loose products, make a check on your local farmers. Make sure that you use proper newspaper or your own bag and other paper bags while you shop.
In every grocery store, there is a lot of plastic waste as single-use plastic bags are very much common. Prefer using few cloth grocery bags instead of piling up plastic grocery bags. This would not only increase the capacity to hold more grocery but would also help reduce waste. These are also very affordable. You can have a wider variety of cloth bags in many designs and colours. These can be used in multiple ways. Cloth bags are the best substitute for taking to stores and avoiding those extra plastic bags.
Get Glass Containers
To cut down the plastic waste, one of the best solutions is to opt for glass containers, which is a more elegant option than others and keeps your food fresh. You can use them either at your grocery stores or restaurants to get your food packed. It is the best to cut down the plastic consumption. As we are aware that plastic Tupperware degrade over time and glass containers are the best substitutes for these leftover plastic containers and will also keep your health up. Moreover, if food is stored in the plastic containers then it can leave the trace of plastic in the stored food sometimes. Mostly, all the glass containers are microwave and dishwasher-safe while most of the plastic ones are not. Your food will stay fresher for a longer time if you store it in glass containers. It also helps in making a good track of what leftovers you have in your fridge and manages your grocery shopping.
Turn Down Disposable Straws
Plastic straws have contributed a lot to plastic waste and restaurants encourage their uses a lot. What we can do is simply deny using these straws to the waiter or waitress and also do the same with drive-through attendants. If you still wish to use a straw, then use stainless steel reusable straws as you can take them anywhere and also they are not harmful. Unlike plastic straws, they don’t crack away when placed in hot drinks. This is also a more hygienic way as carrying your own straw does not contain any kind of germs that are in the wrappings of plastic straws.
Use broken crockery in plant pots
For indoor and outdoor potted plants, broken mugs, plates, and cups can be used to make an ideal drainage system. If more braking up is needed then be careful, and place the larger pieces in-between the newspaper and by using a hammer make them smaller. Try for shards of an approximately half-to-one inch in diameter. Now, place these smaller pieces in the bottom of ceramic pots so that the plastic inner can rest upon. They can be more fit for larger outdoor pots because of the curve of mugs.
Collect and utilize grey water
In the summer months or may be any other time, it is possible to use washing up water obtained from rehydrating your parched garden that too with care and diligence. Grey water is accumulated from showers, baths, the kitchen sink, hand basins, and washing machines. This is because there are some chemicals that might damage plants or change the soil’s alkalinity over time. You don’t need to worry about all this if you use eco-friendly cleaning products to wash yourself and your dishes.
Donate old medicines
You may have a lot of old medicines with you, don’t worry donate them now. No doubt there are not many places that reuse/recycle medicines, but you can donate them to your GP for safe disposal. It can be done by removing individual staff bins and replacing them with the recycling area. This will not only help to recycle things but will also help spread awareness on what can be recycled and lessens the convenience of throwing something away. Also, try donating unwanted equipment and unwanted furniture to charity. It’s a better idea to let the things give a new life when they are no longer of your use.