Return to blog

5 Ways to Cut Down on Waste

Written by

You may have heard the saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” when it comes to eco-friendly habits, but the first of these is by far the most effective. Reducing consumption means reducing waste, which can go a long way toward reducing your impact on the environment.

1. Plan groceries ahead of time
When we’re in the grocery store, our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. This leads to lots of unnecessary food waste due to overbuying. One way to make sure you only buy as much food as you can eat is to plan your meals ahead of time. Come up with a loose weekly “menu” and incorporate leftovers as much as possible. By keeping an inventory of what’s currently in your fridge, you’ll be able to reduce what you buy. Planning your meals in advance might take a little extra time, but mealtimes will be much less stressful and your pocketbook will thank you in the end.

2. Say goodbye to single-use plastic
Disposable plastic containers are a huge problem for the environment. Plastic waste clogs our oceans and endangers wildlife. Plastic takes a very long time to break down, and when it eventually does, it releases harmful toxins into the water and soil. Some easy ways to cut out single-use plastic from your life are to buy grocery items in bulk rather than in single-serving containers, use refillable containers and reusable bags whenever possible, avoid plastic straws and tableware, and choose products with recyclable cardboard instead of plastic packaging.

3. Fix it, don’t ditch it
We create waste by throwing away items that can be repaired. Do you find yourself tossing out piles of clothes each year? Try picking up some simple mending skills. The same goes for electronics, appliances, and furniture. In the age of online tutorials, it’s never been easier to learn how to fix something. You can also prevent waste by making smarter purchases. Rather than buying cheap products that need to be replaced frequently, invest in high-quality products from the beginning. These products will last longer and are built to be repaired rather than replaced. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, don’t be afraid to call a repairman. The next time you go to throw something out, give a second thought to fixing it instead.

4. Make your own cleaning products
No need to buy name brand products for cleaning your home when you probably already have the ingredients to make them yourself. Effective all-purpose cleaners can be made with vinegar, water, and baking soda. Different natural ingredients can be added to make detergent, window cleaner, and toilet cleaner as well. Just keep a refillable spray bottle and mix up a new batch when you run out. This will save you from buying a new bottle every time, and you’ll be using less harmful chemicals around your house.

5. Revamp your gift giving
Gift giving is a tradition for all occasions, from birthdays and baby showers to weddings and retirements. It’s tempting to go out and buy something new when we’re in need of a gift. But all too often, gift exchanges result in unused, unwanted things. Next time you’re presented with a gift giving opportunity, steer clear of trinkets that will eventually collect dust on the shelf or find their way toward a garbage bin. Instead, try gifting a service or activity instead of a product—dog walk vouchers, massages, museum memberships, or concert tickets are all great waste-free gifts that anyone is sure to enjoy.

If we approach sustainable living with the intention to cut back on waste, we reduce the need to reuse and recycle, as well. By reducing our consumption, we can stop the cycle of waste before it even gets started.


Articles on Energy and Conservation

Picnic, family, fun

6 Ways to Get Outside this Spring

Spring is in full swing! And with school winding down and the weather warming up, and it’s time to get outside. Here are some great ways you and your family can enjoy the outdoors this season.

Read more

5 Tips for Traveling Light

Airplanes are heavy, and they use a lot of fuel to get off the ground. While your bag might seem small in the big picture, every pound makes a difference when an airplane is carrying it for thousands of miles.

Read more

How Does Climate Change Affect the Seasons?

Often when we think of climate change, we think of far away places like the polar ice caps in the Arctic or the rainforests of Brazil.

Read more

5 Ways to Cut Down on Waste

You may have heard the saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” when it comes to eco-friendly habits, but the first of these is by far the most effective.

Read more
Daylight savings and saving energy

How to Turn Daylight Savings into Energy Savings

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to set our clocks forward. Now that days are longer and nights are warmer, your energy habits may have changed.

Read more
Volunteer and help the Earth

Give Back to the Earth by Volunteering

As we get settled into a new year, you may be looking for activities that help improve yourself and your surroundings. Volunteering is a great way to give back.

Read more
Home spring-cleaning

Save Energy with Spring Cleaning

Did you know you can save energy with some simple spring-cleaning? It’s time to shake off the winter dust and get your home ready for a fresh start.

Read more
Solar panel field, renewable energy

What Differentiates Renewable from Non-renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is different from non-renewable energy because renewables carry additional market value separate from the energy itself.

Read more

Gift Ideas for a Green Valentine’s Day

It’s never easy to find the perfect gift for that perfect person in your life.

Read more

Raise Your Kids to be Sustainable Citizens

In an age of video games, iPads, and the Internet, how do we teach kids the value of our natural environment? Going green is a trend that’s hard enough to follow even without the challenges of raising children. But sustainability is all about the future, right?

Read more

Like what you’re reading?

Let’s talk more and see how we can help.

Contact UsView Plans