Another 15 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Home
Posted on August 22 2018
I'm really feeling inspired by all of the Zero Waste challenges going on. I feel like there are always areas to improve on this, and it's an amazing life lesson to pass down to our next generation.
While going through my daily routine, I made a list of 15 things that I currently do and can improve on. I came up with these tips for you!
Ways to reduce waste in your home:
1. Use vegetable cuttings for soup broth. While cutting up veggies for salads, soups, stir fry's, etc, simply take the bits and ends you won't use and place them into a container and freeze them! I've thrown ends of onions, celery, cauliflower, broccoli stalks, carrot peels and more into the freezer. Once there is a pot full of veggie parts, boil them in water for about an hour and you have yourself a pot of veggie broth! You can add spices if you'd like, but I'll guarantee you that this broth will have much less sodium than store bought brands!
2. Compost! Composting can remove 20-50% from your household waste stream, reducing the burden on landfills while replenishing your lawn, trees, houseplants, or garden for free. (And if you pay for trash pick-up, composting can save you money there, too.) Check out 100 things you can compost here.
3. Cut and freeze bananas before they're too brown. Forgot to eat your bananas? No problem, before they become too brown, you can cut them into slices and freeze them. Then you just need to grab what you need for your morning smoothie. They give a beautiful creaminess to the smoothie - think 'Nice Cream'. Oops - are you way too late and you have fully covered brown bananas? No problem, just peel and freeze for baking!
4. Juice all the things! Happen to have a fruit + veggie juicer? If you know you're not going to get to cooking that veggie dish you hoped to, juice it! Anything will taste good if you add a couple of green apples with it ;)
5. Bulk shop. Bring your reusable containers and hit up the bulk area in the grocery store or head straight to the bulk ingredient store near you. This saves SO much packaging from landfills. Check out this other article we wrote.
6. Re-use mason jars. Did your preserves or jam or pickles come in a mason jar? Definitely keep them. You can use them for bulk shopping, overnight oats, soup storage and even drinking! Use this ReCap pour cap to make mason jars easy to drink from.
7. Replace dryer sheets with dryer balls. Dryer sheets are the worst. So is fabric softner. Have you actually read the warnings on the packaging? Your clothing will catch fire more easily if you use some of those big brand fabric softners. Not only that, the fragrances in them are full of pthalates which many people are allergic to. Making the switch isn't hard either. If you miss the 'clean laundry smell', simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the dryer balls. So fresh and so clean!
8. Ban the ziploc bag. This can be hard for some, especially the freezer bags. But we can do it!
9. No more disposable water bottles. This should be obvious. And with all the great reusable bottles out there - it's easy peasy.
10. Pack an extra set of reusable bags in your car so you don't forget them all at home. Do you ever get to the grocery store and realize you forgot all of your bags at home? It's happened to us all, don't worry! I just leave a stash in the car trunk and haven't had to use a plastic bag since!
11. Keep gift bags and tissue paper and re-use it! Don't throw away gift wrap. I know, it's tedious to fold up all that tissue paper, but it's worth it for those last minute gifts. I know a friend who is still using up her baby shower gift bags from 4 years ago!
12. Turn your shampoo & conditioner bottles upside down to get every last drop out! It's always an annoying thought knowing that there is still at least 2 uses left in that conditioner bottle! So, it's ok to buy a new bottle, but don't throw away the other bottle yet. Turn it upside down for a day, let all the remaining product gather, and pour the old bottle into the new bottle (take off the cap to get the most product out! haha)
13. Shop second hand for clothing. I can't tell you how many times I've found an amazing piece of clothing at a second hand shop. I may not score every time, but it makes up for it when I find a stunning pair of turquoise jeans that were actually made in Canada... for $7.99... when you know, brand new they would have been $100! Second hand shopping is also great when it comes to baby clothes and accessories, books and board games! One persons trash is another's treasure!
14. Use scrap paper for drawing and note taking. Do you work at an office where paper goes into recycling? Bring it home and leave it for the kids doodling, or make a notepad! Get 2 uses out of the paper before it gets recycled!
15. Use a menstrual cup or reusable pads. Still gettin' your period? Ugh, me too. But I started using a menstrual cup a while back and they are actually quite comfortable! There are so many feminine products filling up our landfills, so why not give the zero waste a try?
You know, after making this list, I feel pretty happy about my progress over the years. Not one of these tasks is super difficult, yet they all make such a huge impact. Seriously guys, if I can do it, I know you can too!
Let us know if you have questions!