Waste production is at an all-time high in the average home. It's not uncommon for us to buy too much and throw away a lot of what we don't use. However, if we practice improving our waste management, we can significantly reduce the amount of garbage we make.
These are eight of the best tips for improving recycling and waste management. Let's get started!
1. Start Making Compost
Since much of what we throw away is food, you can start a compost bin using your kitchen scraps. If you enjoy gardening, then having compost is sure to benefit your plants. Plus, you can create a healthy fertilizer instead of simply throwing out your kitchen scraps.
Adding food to the compost breaks down naturally, making it the best way to dispose of anything. You won't worry about contaminating your garden with harsh chemicals since you control what goes into creating the compost.
Overall, start a compost site with your kitchen scraps. Various organic materials can break down in compost, making it perfect for natural waste management.
2. Don't Buy Bottled Water
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Plastic water bottles are still very common in many households today. However, they don't break down in a reasonable amount of time and contribute a lot of waste to the home. If you're drinking only from plastic water bottles, you make a lot of garbage daily. Plus, you'll save money when you don't buy them.
If your home's tap water doesn't taste great, you should consider getting a pitcher with a water filter. It freshens the taste of your water, and you can use it to refill a water bottle over and over. A stainless steel bottle should last you forever, too, so you won’t need plastic ones anymore.
Although, in most places, drinking your tap water would be the best option for improving waste management since you won't have to worry about replacing the filters.
3. Sort Waste and Recycling
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Many homes today still don't sort their waste, which makes it much harder to recycle. You'll want to have two garbage bins at home— one for your trash and one for recyclable materials. That way, you won't have to sort through all the materials when you want to recycle.
If your waste management center requires you to sort your recycling, you'll want to have another bin for your convenience. For example, you can have one for plastic and one for metal. Recycling is easier when you spend less time sorting your waste before a pickup.
Contact your municipality about how they sort their waste since every area is different. They can provide tips on making it easier for you to comply with their guidelines.
4. Try To Fix First
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If something you have breaks, you'll want to try to repair it before throwing it away. You'll learn many valuable skills as you take the time to make repairs. Plus, you'll save a ton of money since it's almost always cheaper to repair something than to buy a new item to replace it.
You can learn to fix anything with some research and observational skills, so don't convince yourself that you can't repair something. It's always worth a shot.
There are infinite resources to learn to repair anything online; you just need to search for a video tutorial or step-by-step instructions. You can find quality advice online, no matter what you need to fix, whether a shoe or an appliance breaks.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Packaging
You can also significantly reduce your waste production by avoiding items with a ton of packaging. Avoiding it will make it easier for you to manage waste at home.
When we say "unnecessary packaging," we mean items with multiple layers of plastic or things that don't need it in the first place.
For example, some stores sell bananas and oranges wrapped in plastic, although they don't need to be. Other times you'll encounter products surrounded by tons of packaging, despite being very small. Individually wrapped snacks also have excessive packaging.
If you avoid products with tons of packaging, you won't have to deal with as much waste.
6. Bring Reusable Bags With You
When you go grocery shopping, it helps to have some reusable bags with you. Plastic bags can quickly create waste, especially if you need to buy a lot. After a shopping trip, dealing with tons of plastic bags in an environmentally-friendly way can be difficult.
Many grocery stores today sell large reusable plastic or fabric bags; picking up just a few can make a huge difference for you. Other options, such as insulated bags, might keep your food cold until you get home.
7. Encourage Your Family
You'll want to encourage your family to practice recycling and waste management with you. When everyone in the household gets in on it, you can drastically reduce the waste that your home produces.
If you have young children, they'll enjoy learning about recycling. Plus, children and adults can benefit from the sense of accomplishment they get from seeing the difference they make in waste production at home.
You want to make this a team effort with your family to get the best results!
8. Borrow and Share Items
You can borrow and share items with your community to help reduce waste. For instance, you have power tools that someone needs. Instead of buying a new set, you can loan them yours when you're not using them. Of course, they'll do the same for you when you need something.
You and your neighbors can save a lot of money and won't create any new waste. There are tons of items worth borrowing and sharing too.
Improve With Time
You're not going to become an expert at recycling and waste management overnight. Instead, spend your time improving slowly. You should feel more confident that you reduced some of your waste production every day.
It can feel overwhelming at first, and that's okay! You'll notice improvements if you understand that it takes time and trust the process. You'll also feel better knowing you're doing your part for the environment.