Tips for reducing your waste
Consume less plastic bags
- When possible, use reusable bags, reusable crates or reusable baskets for your shopping.
- Turn your single-use plastic bags into multi-use plastic bags by using them more than once, thus reducing the need for new bags. A plastic shopping bag can, for instance, be used as a garbage bag or to hold your wet towel after gym class.
Learn how to cook with left-overs
A lot of left-overs simply sit in the fridge until they get too old and are thrown out. This is true both for left-overs of a meal and uncooked left-overs that appear in your fridge because you didn´t need the whole thing for last night´s recipe.
Change this by learning how to turn left-overs (of both kinds) into new dishes. If you don´t like eating the same thing several days in a row, learn how to turn the old into something new. Taco night is just one example of a great way to use up left-over meat, veggies and sauces.
Buy less stuff
One excellent way of preventing waste is to simply buy less stuff in the first place. Try to identify why you buy new things. We, humans, are complex creatures and why we do something can take some soul-searching to figure out. Do you really need this item, or is there something else going on? Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses? Have you been tricked by marketing into thinking this is a must-have? Are you doing retail therapy when the money would be better spent on actual therapy? Are you buying stuff you don´t need to impress or accommodate people you don´t actually care about?
Reinvent the holidays
Holidays, birthdays and similar can be huge waste-creators. Wrapping paper, boxes and bows that go straight into the trash, presents that the receiver doesn´t really want, a bunch of plastic toys that just goes into the already overfilled toy storage box in the kid´s room… the list goes on.
Talk with the people around you and open up a conversation about needs, wants and expectations concerning the holidays, especially the big gift-giving ones such as Christmas. Maybe next year, it doesn´t have to be about financially independent adults giving each other mismatch gifts that are then hidden away in a cupboard somewhere? Maybe it could be about something else?
Also, some kids absolutely adore getting a mountain of wrapped gifts to open. Other kids would actually prefer if the gift-givers could co-ordinate and buy one or two more expensive gifts together – something that the kid has been dreaming of but that would be to big for the budget unless the adults join forces. Kids are individuals and the idea that ALL kids absolutely want the huge pile of individually wrapped gifts just isn´t true.