We are all aware that human behaviour is quickly causing negative consequences for our Earth. We have all seen the videos of rivers of plastic, and the pictures of sea animals trapped in our trash. The amount of waste we are producing has tripled since 1960. Globally we throw away around 2.12 billion tonnes of waste each year with 99% of the stuff we buy thrown away within 6 months! The average American produces 4.6 lbs ( 2kg) of waste per day, the average office worker uses over 500 paper cups a year, only around 1/10 of sold garbage is recycled in the US and each year 100.2 billion plastic bags are used by Americans.
Don’t despair just yet, there are some pretty simple ways you can help reduce your own waste and if every person makes even a small change, we will see a big impact on a global scale. Obviously, there are the usual go to waste reduction methods like buying a re-usable drinking bottle/coffee cup, using reusable shopping bags and reusable menstrual products which we should all be doing but I’ve tried to create a list that involves a few different ones.
Here are 5 easy ways you can reduce your waste today!
1. Reusable produce bags.
Most grocery stores are trying to reduce the amount of packaging they use (or so they claim) however, with this increase of lose produce comes the risk of people grabbing several plastic produce bags. You have two options here; either skip the bag and put the produce lose in your cart and then give it a quick rinse before use, or you can buy reusable produce bags. Just pop them into your shopping bags so you don’t forget them and place your produce in them.
2. Reusable sandwich bags
Taking your own lunches to work or school is a great way to save money and also reduce the waste of buying individually packaged meals. However, using a disposable plastic bag to store your lunch in each day can quickly add up. Try putting your lunches into a Tupperware box (an old takeaway container can work) or buy some reusable sandwich bags. These bags can also be used to store left-over food in.
3. Safety razors
The EPA estimates that around 2 billion razors are thrown away each year. Many women buy a packet of plastic disposable razors that come in a plastic container – that’s a minimum of 3 plastic items being thrown away for each razor we buy. Even when we buy the reusable razor handles, we still have to change the plastic razor heads every couple of weeks. There is a solution to this: Bamboo safety razors. These are often used by men and offer a closer shave. Recently, women have started to use these as they are much cheaper (the initial investment may seem more expensive but in the long run you’ll save) and they help reduce waste. You keep the handle and just switch up a metal blade (which can be recycled) meaning there is not tonnes of plastic being thrown away! A closer shave and less waste?! YAY.
4. Bamboo toothbrushes and eco-friendly toothpaste
This one is probably the most talked about in the social media world. In the US alone 1 billion disposable toothbrushes are thrown away each year!
Using a reusable electric toothbrush is better than the disposable brushes but it still involves throwing away the plastic brush head every so often (if anyone knows of eco-friendly electric toothbrushes let a girl know!!)
One thing we can do is buy an eco-friendly toothbrush. Buying biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes means that once you are done, you can toss it guilt free knowing that it will go back into the earth where it came from.
Secondly, toothpaste is a big issue when it comes to trash. The tubes that toothpaste come in are often made of plastic and so do not break down. They are also made out of mixed plastic meaning that they often can’t be recycled. Again there are options out there. Lush offer toothpaste tabs that come in a plastic bottle (they are recyclable but I do wish they didn’t use plastic) and can help reduce the use of non-recyclable toothpaste tubes. Or you can find a toothpaste tube that says it is recyclable!
Davids natural toothpaste comes in a metal tube which is recyclable but you will also be able to find recyclable toothpaste tubes in stores (possibly for cheaper) and Tom’s and Colgate allow you to recycle their tubes with TerraCycle.
5. Biodegradable dog waste bags
This is one of the things that annoys me the most. Picking up a biodegradable product in a non-biodegradable bag! I did some research into this because it bothered me so much. I found several options including a reusable dog poop bag (kinda gross but maybe it works?) and also some biodegradable dog poop bags.
These are just a few examples of ways that you can reduce your waste and believe me there are soooo many more. Just a quick google can give you all of the resources you need right at your fingertips.
This website has a tonne of reusable products including sandwich bags and produce bags.
TerraCycle is a great way to recycle products that can not be put into conventional recycling bins!
Although I provide Amazon links for the products I strongly recommend you look for these products in local shops. This helps support smaller businesses and reduces your carbon footprint. If you can’t find them on the high street order things in bulk so you don’t have lots of deliveries.
I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. Comment below and tell me how you’re reducing your waste 🙂
Peace, love n a happy Earth <3
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