Simple Ways to Reduce Waste and Save Money
Not only is reducing your waste good for the environment, but it also helps you save money.
Taking steps to reduce waste in your home is great for our environment, landfill space, and your wallet!
Reduce Paper Products
Using paper plates, napkins, and towels can not only fill up the trash bin but also costs you money. The average family uses two rolls of paper towels a week, which can add up to about $180 yearly. They also go through about 230 paper plates a year. Replace paper plates and towels by using plates made by reusable materials such as glass and use cotton towels for messes.
Reduce Plastic Products
Plastic is one of the harshest materials for our planet because most plastic lasts forever and the chemicals added to plastics can have potential human health effects (source).
- Instead of using plastic to store food, try using glass or stainless steel containers.
- Switch to eco-friendly water bottles instead of bottled water. Water bottle production uses 17 million barrels of oil - that's enough to fuel 1.3 million cars per year. The average American can also save around $100 a year by using refillable bottles instead of bottled water
- Use reusable grocery bags. Americans throw out approximately 100 billion plastic grocery bags a year. Some stores even offer a small discount when you use reusable bags!
- Give cloth sandwich bags a try. While plastic sandwich baggies only cost you about $32 annually, adding this to your waste reduction can add up!
- Toss the plastic dish sponge. Kitchen sponges host a lot of bacteria. While little in cost, research has shown that you would need to replace your sponge weekly to keep it from becoming the dirtiest thing in your home. Try using compostable brushes or reusable cloths to scrub your home.
- DIY hygiene products and cleaning supplies. Many of our consumer products use plastic containers and cost more than simply making products at home. Online resources, such as Pinterest, offer a variety of DIY ideas.
Reduce Food Waste
The average American throws away approximately $2,000 a year of food according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Reduce your food waste by:
- Planning out your meals. The average family wastes about 20 percent of their groceries. Stick to your grocery list and avoid impulse buys.
- Starting a compost! Compost those extra food scraps and use the soil to grow your own food. (We offer classes to get you started!)
- Reducing takeout. Takeout food usually has high portions, bulky containers and costs more than cooking in your home. Reducing your takeout meals can save room in your trash (save on trash bag costs) and your wallet!
- Eating your leftovers.
- Storing food in the right places. Storing food properly can help keep food fresh for longer. View these storage tips from the American Heart Association.