5 Tips to Reduce Waste

You might have heard a lot recently about environmental news on hot topics like global warming, pollution, and overflowing landfills. While these issues seem greater than one individual can combat there are ways that you can help. Most environmental issues are related to improperly handled garbage. The waste from homes and businesses goes to landfills where the majority does not break down naturally. It will not break down naturally and only adds to the preexisting mass of trash. That leads to air pollution and in other countries it often gets into the freshwater supply. You can be a part of the change by making a few simple changes around the house.

Buy in Bulk

Individually packaged items are convenient but they have an excess of packaging that is often not recyclable. Buying smaller quantities means purchasing several packages to get the needed number of servings for an individual, family, or business. There are several benefits to buying bulk items. You can ultimately save money by purchasing commonly used household items less frequently and at a lower cost per serving or use. There will also be a reduction in packaging waste.

Reusable Containers and Bags

Plastic bags and wrap is something that most people use at home to store food. These items get tossed into the garbage can. Glass food storage containers are microwave and dishwasher friendly, so they are useful in the kitchen. There are also reusable cloth bags and stretchy coverings that can replace bags and wraps.

Compost Kitchen Scraps

Most food scraps can be given a better purpose than rotting in a trash bag. Plant-based foods, leaves, cut grass, and twigs can be made into compost. Waste is reduced and the compost is perfect for growing a home garden or use on the lawn, shrubs, or flowers. Compost is a natural fertilizer made from deteriorating food and lawn trimmings.

Upcycle or Recycle

Plastic, glass, cardboard, aluminum, and paper can all be recycled. Many cities offer recycle pick up from approved bins or cans. If this is not available in your area, then there are most likely recycle drop off locations. They require items to be sorted and placed into the appropriate area. Recycling allows those items to be melted down and reused again in a different format and prevents landfill waste.

Old items that are not used anymore can be given new life by upcycling. That means giving items other use. Often a coat of paint can refresh tired furniture. Stained towels can be cut up and used as rags or be given to pets for bedding. Decorations can be made from almost anything like cups, plates, shells, broken vases, and so on. Search online for some inspiration instead of throwing usable items away.


The old saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is still true today. You may not wear those clothes anymore but someone else can. That furniture might seem out of place after you redecorated but they might be perfect for a college kid. The same goes for dishes, bedding, towels, decorations, framed art, and toys. There are many donations bins and thrift stores that accept donations. Some charities will even come to pick up your donations for free. If you can get a receipt of donation, it can be a tax deduction as just another benefit to doing a good deed.

Actively choosing to reduce waste is a noble task. There won’t be people cheering you on for doing your part to protect the environment, but the unseen acts make a difference. Buying in bulk, reusable containers/bags, composting, recycling, upcycling, along with donating are the best ways to reduce waste. You will have less trash as a result, a healthier garden, and possibly have saved money along the way. These simple tips have a positive impact on the local environment.


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