Green ideas to reduce waste
Simple ideas and swaps to make for less waste and a greener lifestyle – and a happier, healthier existence.
When it’s rubbish collection day, the streets are full of numbered wheelie bins and overflowing baskets of cardboard, tins, plastic and paper. There was a time when people didn’t recycle any of their rubbish – all in a black bin liner, off we go. With our labelled loads, we are slowly edging towards a cleaner life, but there’s still more we can do. Why do we find ourselves still throwing out so much from our homes – and where does it go? We need to start at the source: us.
Lauren, a 23-year-old living in New York, declared that she was going to lead a junk-free life when she was studying environmental studies at NYU, three years ago. She realised at the time that she was living a plastic-filled existence – from food wrapping, to plastic bottles, toothbrushes and bags.
Lauren says on her blog: “Then I learned about this family in California, calling themselves the Zero Waste Home, that was producing little to no garbage, it was this Aha! moment for me. I wanted to lessen my impact, so I started my Zero Waste journey. This is when I really decided that I not only needed to claim to love the environment, but actually live like I love the environment.”
Now, Lauren says she can fit two years of waste within one jar. She's also found the benefits have extended to her wellbeing, focus and attitude to life.
- SAVING MONEY – planning meals, buying in bulk and buying secondhand means everything is accounted for and there's no excess expenditure
- HEALTHY – no packaged foods, mean healthier food choices
- HAPPY – the routine and planning are helpful and calming. Making healthy choices is like a small high five to the (temple) body and having less to clean and surround us within the home aids tranquility. While not buying beauty products, only eco-friendly and only when needed – such as The Organic Pharmacy or Dr Hauschka – keeps things minimal and naturally beautiful
Some basic tips:
- 1. Bring your own bags and jars to fill with bulk products when shopping
- 2. Make your own detergents and cleaning products
- 3. Cleanse your house of the bits and bobs you no longer love, the trinkets, clothing and those boxes in the spare room/loft/under the stairs
- 4. Go to the shop once a week to buy all of the ingredients that you need for the week – this includes those for cleaning and beauty
- 5. Store your food in jars rather than tupperware
1. Your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo compostable and sustainable toothbrush
3. Packaged body wash, with hard and unwrapped bulk soap
4. Regular toilet paper, for natural and unbleached toilet paper
5. Plastic bag for a reusable bag – like this one
6. Plastic water bottle, for a reusable one
7. Plastic chopping board, for a wooden one
9. Washing up liquid, with bulk Castille soap
10. Sponge, with compostable and reusable dish brush
11. Paper towels for tea towels
Lauren's blog: Trash is for Tossers : www.trashisfortossers.com