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If we want change to start, it should start from within us. This powerful mantra can also be applicable towards waste reduction our world needs now. As we look inside our homes and realise how much of our items could be labelled as waste can become a bit overwhelming. 

However, hope is not lost, so don't despair! We can still become eco-friendly with our homes by managing it with our guide that provides eight (8) simple yet very effective ways to reduce waste and start the transition we need towards a zero-waste environment-sensitive home.

But first - Why is reducing waste so necessary?

ways to reduce waste

Manufacturing and transporting new products nowadays require loads of money, energy, and natural resources and costs great deals of transporting and processing labours for the disposal of such products once we're through with them. 

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The more these wastes get put into the ground, the more we make our landfills release methane gas, a massive contributor to climate change. In addition, leachate or a toxic sludge also becomes abundant that could kill plants and animals and even contaminate our water supplies.

Simply put: when there’s waste, there’s pollution, contributing to climate change and squandering more funds, energy and natural resources than most of us could realise.

But even though small and subtle changes we make in our daily lives can become a powerful difference towards the healthy living of all things around us, let alone the province and planet that we call our home.

8 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Reduce Waste and Save the Planet

With these following eight (8) helpful tips in reducing waste, we can learn how to begin living greener lives at home through small steps, bit by bit.

1. Get an excellent grip on recycling

Primary recycling is collecting and processing several materials that should've been thrown away like trash but otherwise turned into new repurposed products. Recycling dramatically benefits the community and the environment in general.

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste includes everything that pops into your recycling bin and items you take down to your local recycling centre. Always make sure to wash these items out before placing them into your recycling bin. 

Double-check what items and materials can be collected with your bin collection because some may not be widely recyclable compared to others. Remember that local recycling centres may also take on other items such as clothing and electronic equipment, so best to ask them about these particulars.

2. Resort to upcycling instead of recycling

Although recycling is excellent in dealing with waste, one level up from its process is upcycling. As mentioned earlier, recycling is the destruction of waste materials to be created into something new. On the other hand, upcycling involves taking waste and creating something new from its current state.

Many household items can be turned into new items using upcycling quite easily. Here are some of the benefits you can have from doing upcycling:

  • Save materials from landfills;
  • Reduce what goes into landfills;
  • Minimally utilise natural resources;
  • Celebrate artisanal work and promote old school craftsmanship;
  • Support local and rural industries;
  • Reduce the costs of manufacturing;
  • Discover your crafty and handy repair skills; and
  • Do your tiny bit for Mother Nature.

3. Create a list of your weekly meal plan before shopping

Another great way to help reduce waste production at home is by starting with food waste. This way is among the biggest in producing, and of course, reducing the waste we have at home. By making meal plans and using it in creating your shopping list, you'll know only to buy what food items you need – a great money saver, too! 

4. When going out, make things at home instead of buying them outside

Swapping morning trips down to the local coffee shop for a nice and warm reusable mug or tumbler filled at home with some hot beverage or packing lunch for work, not only will you start saving money, but you’ll be reducing waste you produce while you’re out and about.

5. Avoid replacing things by increasing your DIY repair skills

From sewing lessons on fixing up sock holes to minor DIY carpentry for broken furniture fixing, many tutorial videos online can help you increase and improve your DIY skills in fixing stuff.

There are many ways to choose from that can simultaneously help reduce the waste material you produce by simply repairing things rather than replacing them. It’s bound to help your finances, too.

6. Making the most out of your garden can also reduce waste

Gardening has become one of the most beloved activities, especially during the numerous lockdowns brought by the pandemic.

Consider making DIY composts that can be useful for your lovely, homemade garden and eventually grow different fruit and vegetable varieties, saving you shopping money and reducing potential organic waste inside your home. Be surprised yourself and discover what waste materials are biodegradable.

7. Come up with your DIY cleaning solutions or have concentrated options

Purchasing spray bottles for kitchen cleaning, laundry and other cleaning essentials can produce many waste materials. Make your cleaning solutions or go for concentrated, refillable solutions whenever you need something a bit stronger.

Create small and gentle dishwashing tablets using simple, household items like lemon juice, castile soap, water, or a quick yet effective oven cleaning solution by combining easy-to-find materials such as baking soda and white vinegar. 

8. Resort to reusable alternatives instead of one-time-use plastics

One waste material that can become a hassle later on, are plastics. So, reducing such waste can be very beneficial. Different areas at home can contribute to this change we want to accomplish. Some simple examples of ways of reducing plastic waste are as follows:

  • Use bags made from cloth or canvas for your food shopping.
  • Cover your leftovers with reusable silicone lids or beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm.
  • Utilise washable and reusable cloth nappies.
  • Resort sanitary products like cloth sanitary pads or silicone menstrual cups as alternatives for using tampons.

Final Thoughts

The abovementioned ways in reducing the production of plastics and general waste around our homes can be the start towards a more significant reduction of such waste materials. Now, you can start creating the transition your household need in having that eco-friendlier atmosphere.

Read: Complete Guide to Organise a Litter Picking Event in Your Community

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