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My partner couldn’t believe this!
And I loved the excited look on his face saying something like; I can’t believe how little effort it takes. How is it possible to send so little waste to landfill every week and we don’t have to struggle or give up our comfortable lifestyle?
Merlin (my partner) was going out to take the garage bin up to the street for rubbish collection when he came back in saying it was empty. I checked our bin under the sink. It was half full but a little smelly so the only half full bag went in the garage bin for rubbish collection.
HALF A BAG – ONE WEEK OF WASTE – A FAMILY OF THREE.
My family would like to inspire you and tell you that’s possible to live a more wast-free life. If you feel the guilt starting to creep in, don’t let it! It doesn’t help and we want you to feel happy and empowered 😃 We hope we can inspire you to start your own journey, reducing your household waste going to landfill.
The answer to how we send so little waste to landfill week after week with so little effort, is all about changing your habits while not feeling overwhelmed in the process. Take the steps at the time that you can overcome BUT it’s important that keep your focus and look out for ways you can reduce the amount you send to landfill every week.
I’ll share the steps we’ve taken. Some of the steps we took years back while others are more recent and which truly made the difference.
10 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR HOUSEHOLD WASTE.
1. No bottle water.
Make to a habit to bring your own water with you in your bag, in the car, on the bicycle, in the stroller etc. It’s only bad for the environment but also for your health to drink from plastic bottles.
2. Bring your own shopping bag and ‘take away’ mug for coffee and smoothies.
Make to a habit to have your own shopping bags with you. We’ve a couple in the car and the stroller. I’ve a couple in my handbag of the type that don’t take much space and Merlin has one on his bicycle.
You can compost veggie scraps in your garden, on your balcony or in your basement, garage or even under the kitchen sink. Some local governments and organisation also collects compost. You can also compost meat and cooked food in a Bokashi bucket or give it to your dog or cat. I collect any food that ends up on the floor (our toddler is a messy eater) and bring a bucket to one of my colleagues’ dog Daisy.
4. Get vegetables and fruit in a box or on the farmers market.
We get a vegetable and fruit box every week and we go to the farmers market. Even better if you grow some or all of them yourself. Herbs in particular are easy to grow indoors or outdoors and herbs are often packaged in plastic.
5. Reduce or quiet processed foods
Avoid packaged food and snacks. Buy fresh whole foods instead. We took this step because we’re cleaning up our diet but it also reduced the amount of packaged food we buy.
6. Get on to Freecyle.org. or give away to friends, family and colleagues.
Find your local Freecycle group and sign up. I gave away a radio that didn’t work and I got a happy taker within a day. At least try to give things away before sending it to landfill. You can also put a “wanted” add in which I did for clothes and toddler toilet seat to our son. I also give away things we don’t use any longer to my colleagues by bringing a “give away” box of things.
7. Swap the shopping centre for secondhand stores.
We buy most of our clothes and stuff for the kitchen from secondhand stores. We started because of an economic incentive buying baby and toddler clothes for our son but shortly we started buying clothes for ourselves and things for the kitchen.
8. Choose bulk food retailers.
When we started buying at The Source Bulk Foods we really started to feel a difference as we bring our own jars and containers to refill them. I use for example two old dish wash liquid containers that I refill in the shop. I recommend that you get two containers for the things you don’t want to run out of and I’ve a box with the jars and containers in the car so I always have them on hand.
9. Return packaging and containers to the retailer when possible.
We’ve a bag with soft plastics that isn’t recycled where we live and bring it to one of the supermarkets that has a recycling bin for soft plastics. I also leave styrofoam trays behind me in the store by unwrapping the plastic wrap, taking out the tray before rewrapping it in the plastic wrap only. These options are of course second best as it would be best to avoid any packaged food completely however we aren’t at that stage yet. Working in progress 🙂
10. Use a compostable bamboo toothbrush, homemade toothpaste and silk to floss your teeth.
Make sure that the bristles also are compostable and you can put it strait in your compost instead of throwing it your rubbish bin. I had a silk shirt that came apart so instead of throwing it out or composting it, I’ve cut it into 15×15 cm squares stored in a jar in the bathroom. You then take out two threads of sink and roll them between your fingers to make one string that you use to floss you teeth. Too easy, don’t you think 😉 There are many free recipes online how to make you own toothpaste or click HERE.
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