There is so much discussion about climate change and global warming right now, but not an awful lot of discussion about how you can do your bit to reduce waste and live a more sustainable life. We all want to save the polar bears but how do we do it? If you’ve found yourself asking this question, then you’re in the right place. Here are some of the top ways that you can reduce your waste to live a more sustainable life and do your bit for the environment.
This one should be obvious, but one of the most effective ways to reduce waste is by recycling your rubbish. A trend that started back in 2018 is putting all of your rubbish that cannot be recycled into a glass mason jar and seeing just how much waste you’ve accumulated by the end of the year. Extremists only use one small jam jar a year but don’t be overwhelmed, you can use one a month to put your waste in if you’re new and can always add more jars if needed. It’s a great start to being more conscious of shopping and recycling habits and living a more sustainable life.
2. Refuse Straws
When out for dinner or drinks, ask your server to leave the straw. Straws and other small plastics often go to waste and can end up finding their way to the ocean and are toxic to aquatic life. If you’re not ready to ditch straws just yet, invest in a metal straw and carry it around with you. Not only will you feel good doing your bit for the environment, but you’ll look chic doing it.
3. Take Packed Lunches
One of the biggest causes of plastic pollution is from meal deals and other pre-packaged foods which can take hundreds of years to decompose. One of the best ways to reduce waste from food packaging is by making packed lunches at home and bringing them on the go with you. Not only will you eat healthier, but you will also save yourself some money. Try to avoid wrapping food in tinfoil or cling film if possible and instead invest in some Tupperware or bee wraps (these are reusable, washable food wraps similar to cling film but a lot more durable).
4. Stop Buying So Many Cleaning Products
Another big cause of plastic pollution is cleaning products. It’s hard to resist so many beautiful smelling products, especially when there are now cleaning gurus such as Mrs. Hinch promoting them on social media and of course, everyone wants a clean home, but sometimes less really is more. An equally as effective way to clean your home that will reduce waste from bottles and wipes is with one versatile disinfectant, hot water, and a cloth. Or why not try some home made cleaning products, as your granny always says, vinegar and newspaper really works wonders when cleaning the windows.
5. Bring A Reusable Coffee Cup
When stopping by your favourite coffee shop, remember to bring a reusable coffee cup. They’re pretty cheap and most coffee shops will offer money off on your coffee, so they will pay themselves off. Also, instead of picking up your daily bottle of water, invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water, there are all different types tailored to your personal style and it will reduce waste while saving you some money too.
6. Reduce Your Meat Intake
It has been scientifically proven that meat agriculture is one of the leading causes of global warming. Of course, the vegan or even vegetarian lifestyle is not for everyone, but why not at least try to cut down your meat consumption? There are so many fun, meat-free dishes out there to try. If you think you could be vegan but you couldn’t give up chocolate, then do that! It’s a fantastic contribution and there are no rules. You can start by having Meat Free Monday’s, or one vegetarian week a month, there are no limits.
7. Invest In Staple Wardrobe Pieces
Rather than buying from cheap, fast fashion brands that only last a few months, why not invest in some quality staple pieces for your wardrobe? Fast fashion brands often weave harmful synthetic or micro-plastics into fabrics which enable them to produce and sell clothes cheaper, however, these plastics can deteriorate in the washing machine and find their way into the ocean, so while it may cost you a little extra, staple pieces are much more sustainable. Items such as a good pair of jeans, sturdy boots, quality jewellery, and basic tops can last for years at a time and will also help you develop a personal style.
8. Donate To Charity
Instead of throwing away unwanted home decor or clothes, even tins of food you won’t use, donate them to charity or food banks. This goes hand in hand with recycling but is something people often don’t do. Those less fortunate could really benefit from your unwanted things and it will reduce the amount of waste rotting in a hole in the ground.