Reducing your waste - Small changes
Guest post by Michelle Beard
Over the past year small changes have happened in terms of reducing our outgoing waste within our home.
I have done it slowly and methodically, making sure that each change was going to work with our way of life.
Taking a measured approach not only has meant that changes are more likely to stick, but it has also saved my sanity haha.
It is well documented that sweeping changes made to your lifestyle don't necessarily work, trying to completely change your diet or increase your exercise routine dramatically for the most part doesn't stick.
So, it makes sense that making huge changes in terms of reducing your waste might be overwhelming and you might find yourself reverting, finding the whole thing too hard.
Life changes are just that, life changes. Quick fixes don't work.
A slowly-does-it approach in terms of changing the items in your house is so much better to your bank balance also. When you need to replace something in the house you can look at eco-friendly compostable alternatives as they come up.
Zero waste isn't gathering all the old, used plastic items in the house, getting rid of them and then buying alternatives... (although I do know of people that have done this purely for aesthetic reasons, which must of been so costly). Waste reduction is also about using the items you already have again and again (like my plastic dish brush) until it has died a terrible plastic death in my sink.
Five initial things to look at in your life are composting, reusing items, recycling, fixing things, buying second hand and donating items.
Honestly, composting will reduce your outgoing waste by 50% or more. It is by far one of the most important things we can do in terms of waste reduction.
Reuse what you can
Ask yourself before you put your empty peanut butter jar into the recycling if it can have another use in your home.
Recycling isn't the answer to everything, but it is a good way for things that are already produced to be utilized again in another form.
Buy second hand
Wherever you can buy something that is already produced, it helps immensely.
Donate or sell items
On the flip side someone else might love your second-hand items. So much is sent to the landfill unnecessarily, donating your unwanted items is great!
Before something goes into the landfill ask yourself if it can be mended or fixed.
Make things easy for yourself and attempt to change one thing at a time. Try doing one of these things each week...
* Use reusable grocery and produce bags .
* Use a keep cup.
* Use a water bottle.
* Buy reusable straws (if you use straws.)
* Buy loose vegetables not in plastic bags.
* Try baking one item each week to replace an item you would usually buy in plastic.
* Choose items in glass, aluminium, or paper, over items wrapped in plastic.
* Make your next toothbrush a wooden one.
* Reduce your glad wrap use by using a plate over the top of your food, placing your food into containers to keep in the fridge, buying reusable food covers or wax wraps.
At the end of the day change the things you can change and work on the rest slowly. Because many small changes make a huge difference.
About the author
Michelle Beard is a blogger at Pumpkins in Trees, she has a passion for Zero waste, NZ products and social issues.
- Sarah Cooper