It’s been said that we live in a throwaway society. We clean our hands on paper napkins and wipe our noses with paper tissues, tossing them in the trash after a single use. We upgrade our computers and replace our cell phones nearly every year. Many of us even change our whole wardrobes every season, discarding old clothes that are in perfectly good shape because they’re “so last year.”
All this waste is costly, both for us and for the environment. We could all stretch our pockets much further by using the same item many times, rather than just once. And because we’d be buying less, we’d cut down on our use of energy and natural resources as well. So whenever you choose to reuse, you’re making your life greener and cheaper at the same time.
There are many ways to make reuse a part of your life. Some are simple, such as carrying a reusable shopping bag to the supermarket. Others take a bit more effort, such as shopping secondhand or using pallets for building material.
If you’re new to the whole idea of reuse, start with a few baby steps that are easy to handle. Once you become comfortable with those, work your way up to the big stuff. As you become accustomed to the practice, you’ll find yourself constantly discovering new ways to trim both household waste and your personal budget. can’t go into your
The absolutely best way to stop trash is to stop buying and using products that are not durable, reusable, or repairable. Reducing waste is easy if you follow some of the tips below.
Reduce Your Packaging Purchases
Avoiding products wrapped in plastic or excessively packaged in boxes and bags is a great way to generate less waste. You’ll also save energy and natural resources.
- Avoid packaging when possible. For example, use your own reusable bag or container.
- Use products you already have for household chores. Avoid single-use cleaning products.
- Buy large economy-sized products instead of individually wrapped items. Laundry soap, shampoo, dish-washing detergent, dry pet food, cat litter, and other non-perishable items are great examples. For food, buy the largest size you can use before spoiling.
- Buy items in bulk, in concentrate, or in refillable packages. Bulk candy, for instance, will have much less wrapping than a bag of “Fun Size” candy bars. Yaah… reducing waste…
Whenever possible use nonhazardous or less hazardous materials at home and work. Instead of pesticides, for example, use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to control insects and other pests. Other safety tips include:
- If you do use hazardous materials, use only what you need. Share leftovers with neighbors or donate them to businesses or charities that need them.
- Read product labels and follow all directions carefully.
If you have hazardous materials, such as motor oil, be sure to dispose of them properly.
Reuse Bags, Containers, and Other Items
- Bring your reusable shopping bag to the grocery store and beyond. If you do have single-use bags, use them again!
- Bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop.
- Bring reusable take-out containers with you to restaurants (it saves them money!).
- Pack lunches in a reusable bag with reusable food and drink containers.
- Reuse containers and other materials for storage and crafts.
- Reuse single-sided printed pages for scratch paper.
- Find new homes for clothing and linens, or use them for rags, patchwork, and other projects.