We live in a world now that we all have some responsibility to think about how much waste we produce. It’s incredible how much trash just one person can have. I took out the trash one day and thought this is just one week? I have to do better than this! Everything seems to come in plastic these days. I started with a few small changes and it really made a difference. These are several reasons to avoid buying disposable products. The first reason is financial. If you’re re-using items then that means you’re not buying things over and over. Cha-ching. Secondly is for health reasons. Disposable products are commonly made with toxic chemicals. Therefore, that means they’re probably leaching into your foods or drinks. Ick. Thirdly is environmental. We see it in our oceans and on the street. Unfortunately, trash is everywhere.
Here are some easy ways to cut down on your trash that are easy swaps.
- Use reusable bags when shopping. A lot of us are already doing this thankfully because currently many cities have now made it a law. I know five or ten cents seems like no big deal to save but it’s so much bigger than that.
- Stop buying individual bottles of water and buy gallons. This cut down my trash unbelievably. I had so many of those little bottles in my trash this was an easy one. I now refill my glass bottles and carry those.
- Use white washcloths/napkins instead of paper towels for napkins. Buy a cheap pack of these and use them when you eat. They work so much better and they can be bleached. Also buy a pack to use for cleaning and swap out for paper towels where you can. Use newspaper for cleaning windows instead.
- Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. These are great and you can also put essential oils on them for your preferred scent. If you really love those sheets though you can also recycle those! They work great for cleaning baseboards and especially for dusting. If you have animals these are hair magnets on hardwood floors. I’ve heard of people using them on Swiffers® as well so that’s another great idea.
- Start a compost or keep those veggie scraps for stock. Composting is easy but there are some basic rules. If you want to keep your veggie scraps just throw them in a Ziploc® bag and place them in the freezer. When it’s full make a delicious and nutritious stock.
- Cook your food from scratch. Ok this isn’t the easiest for everyone but try a few different things every week to make. You’ll order out less, hence less trash.
- Stop buying sponges. I used to throw out sponges all the time. I would microwave them or put them in the dishwasher but they still seemed kind of gross? I started buying good quality dishwashing microfiber cloths. When these go in the washing machine I KNOW that they are CLEAN when I reuse them. No more of those nasty sponges and no more wasting money on them.
- Wash in cold water only. Yup. I found out from the appliance repairman that this is always suggested. It not only makes a difference in your bill (costs 40 cents less per load) but it really makes a difference in keeping your clothes looking newer for longer. Hot water breaks down the fiber a little every time you wash and fades out color. If you really aren’t comfortable with it for your sheets and towels or dirtier loads then do what you feel is best, but they say it makes no difference. You can always do a second rinse just to be sure, put some baking soda in your load and add some borax to boost your detergent.
Feel good about being part of the solution and not part of the problem. One step at a time.
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