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Looking for more ways you can reduce your waste at home? There are many new innovations that make it easy to find alternative products to reuse, but finding products and using only what you’ll need can sometimes be a challenge.
Sustainable living is a hot topic right now but can seem overwhelming to many who want to make changes. My best advice is to start small with one change at a time. Here is how you can get started on your low waste lifestyle at home.
A low waste lifestyle also means energy conservation. Updating your insulation is a great way to be sure you’re keeping all your comfortable air inside. Contact an insulation contractor today and get quotes from pros in your area.
Low Waste Lifestyle Tips
From reusable straws to incentives to save on electrical usage, sustainability is the trend when it comes to our homes and our lifestyles. More people are speaking up and wondering how they can pitch in and do their part to manage their resources better. One step at a time, we can all make this world a better and cleaner place, starting at home.
Did you know that the U.S. produces more than 30% of the planet's total waste? According to Frontier Group, that about seven pounds per person per day. Living low-waste means making better use of all your home resources and producing less trash. Adn this is not just limited to garbage, but also how you use resources like water and energy. Small changes can make a big difference.
“There are many items on the market right now that you can replace current items in your home with that will help the cause,” Ashley Lipman, marketing specialist at The Urban Avenue, said.
You might feel pressured to do everything at once, but make a plan at how you can incorporate changes into your home over time, so you are able to adjust to a new routine. Here are a few low-waste lifestyle tips.
- Get A Home Energy Audit
- Cook Better Portions
- Avoid Using Plastic & Disposable Dishware
- Reuse When Possible
- Recycle Old Clothes & Items
1. Get A Home Energy Audit
Before you start making major changes, determine where you currently are or are not being wasteful. An easy way to do so is with a home energy audit. You can contact a professional who will come and measure the effectiveness of your insulation, HVAC, appliances and more. They’ll identify problem areas for you to focus on, such as air leaks in windows and doors, that can be an easy fix. The average cost to hire a home energy auditor is $383.
2. Cook What You Need
You may find the kitchen is where most waste is accumulated. One step you can take is to cook only what you need for mealtime and nothing more. This will eliminate extra food waste, even if you do keep leftovers. You might even want to get creative if you notice some of your produce is going bad.
“Do not cook more than you will eat,” Lipman said. “If you do, store the leftovers in a reusable container and freeze them to eat another night. If you have bought too much fresh fruit, there are apps to show you how to preserve it for jam.”
For food scraps and other organic material, consider a compost pile. This is a great way to repurpose your food for your garden. Read A Guide To Composting At Home for tips on how you can start doing this yourself.
3. Upcycle When Possible
A low waste lifestyle can be fun, especially when it comes to creativity. If you have an old item like a dresser, side table or accessory, you can turn it into something completely new with a little bit of DIY skill.
“Upcycling is fun, cheap, and believe it or not, it can be chic! Do you have an old ladder in the garage that you never use? It can look shabby, paint splattered or even missing a step. Turn it horizontally and mount it to the wall. Use it for a bookshelf or put potted plants on it,” Lipman said.
Upcycling isn’t just limited to larger items. You can take things that you’d normally toss and repurpose them into something new and useful.
“Today we love technology but, with every gadget comes miles of cords,” Lipman said. “Use a shoebox and start saving those empty toilet tissue rolls. Place the box on its side and fill hit with the roll with the open side out. Now you have a perfect cubby for each cable or wire. Wind it up and slip it in the roll. You can pull the roll out and use a marker to say what it came with if you would like.”
4. Avoid Using Plastic & Disposable Dishware
At the end of a long day, it can be tempting to reach for the Styrofoam plates and eat dinner that way, without having to worry about clean up. However, disposable kitchen items take thousands of years to break down, and that’s a mark you don’t want to leave on the earth. One of the most talked about items right now is straw use.
“Give up plastic straws,” Lipman said. “Keep a washable straw in your car that you use in a drinking bottle and refuse the straw. Every day, Americans use 500 Million straws! That would fill over 126 school buses.”
Invest in reusable lunch containers you can use, instead of sandwich bags. You may also be surprised to learn that using a dishwasher can actually save on water usage, which is good news if you’re trying for a more sustainable lifestyle. Lipman also suggested using bamboo towels instead of paper towels, as they can be used more than once.
5. Recycle Old Clothes & Items
As seasons change, you may go through your closet and remove the clothes you won’t be needing for the weather. If you find yourself with clothes you no longer wear, recycle them. Many secondhand stores will take donations of clothing, furniture and more. It’s a great way to be a low-waste household and help your community.
Living a low waste lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. Start by making one change at a time that you’re comfortable with. Over time, this will become a habit and you can start with another small change that will make the earth a better place.
Looking for more sustainability tips? Read Rules To Follow For A Sustainable Home.