The end of a product’s life is expensive in financial, energy, and environmental terms. Everyone, at our level, can help improve the situation by being attentive to our consumption patterns. To Reduce the amount of household waste is a very effective solution. This saves money but also reduces our carbon footprint and limits greenhouse gas emissions.
Things you can start to reduce your household waste:
Here are 10 things you can start to reduce your household waste today.
Limit packaging and favor bulk
If you want to reduce your household waste, the first instinct is to stop buying packaged products. For example, buy a reusable stainless steel filter jug or water bottle instead of plastic bottles. Same idea for the so-called biodegradable plastic bags for your fruits and vegetables. Prefer kraft paper or reusable fabric bags.
The best solution is to buy your products in bulk. For this, do your shopping with your fabric bags, jars, and glass jars. Bulk has many advantages: zero plastic packaging, savings, and you only buy what you need.
Prefer reusable products to disposable products
In the continuity of the previous point, forget the all-disposable. Instead, invest in durable, reusable products.
For example, buy rechargeable batteries, replace paper towels with tea towels, and disposable wipes with sponges and white vinegar. Use a washable filter instead of single-use coffee filters. Store your leftovers in reusable containers or use beeswax food wrap instead of aluminum foil or plastic food wrap.
To reduce your household waste, buy less but better
A French person throws away several kilograms of food waste each year, of which a third is non-consumed products still packaged.
Here are some reflexes to reduce household food waste :
- Plan your meals and buy in quantities adapted to your needs
- Freeze your food to keep it longer
- Make the difference between use-by date (DLC) and optimum use-by date (DLUO)
- Eat first foods with the closest BBD
- Be aware that certain “outdated” products can still be eaten: pasta, cereals, dry cakes, yogurts, etc.
And if you have any leftovers, this is your chance to cook them! This is, moreover, the subject of the following point.
Cook anti-waste and make your household products
Put on your anti-waste cooking apron and reuse your leftover food instead of throwing it away. Turn the vegetable peelings into chips and make a cake or soup from carrot tops. You will find dozens of anti-waste recipes online. For all the leftovers that you cannot cook, head to the composter (we will talk about it in the next point).
Similarly, you can make your household products from essential items like soap, white vinegar, and baking soda. It also works for cosmetics.
Try your hand at composting
Compost is an excellent real fertilizer for plants and gardens while reducing your volume of organic waste.
For composting, the ideal is to have a garden. But you can do it in town too. There are areas dedicated to collective composting. Find out. There may be one near you. Indeed, there is the option of installing a compost bin or a vermicomposter in your apartment.
Repair when you can to reduce household waste
One of your devices no longer works? You have broke one of your items. Before you consider purchasing a new one, ask yourself if the old one is repairable. You can invoke the warranty, repair it yourself, or hire someone else. There are support networks and platforms to facilitate troubleshooting and repair of all types of products.
If it is not likely to repair the object or if it is too worn out for its first use, why not give it a second life? For example, turn your old clothes into rags or your old toothbrushes into cleaning brushes.
Give away what you no longer use
And when you’re sure you’re parting with your items, consider giving them away rather than throwing them away. Organizations recover them from giving them a new life. This is the case with Emmaüs and its subsidiary Le Relais, which allows its clothes to be recycled by simply putting them in terminals for textiles.
You can also drop off your clothes in a recycling center. Sites like donnons.org are useful for removing bulky items and decorative items.
Reduce your paper consumption
Avoid printing all the documents you can do without and opt for online services for billing water, electricity, telephone, Internet, tax return, etc. When printing, use the backside of a sheet that has already been printed.
Finally, stick a “stop advertising” sticker on your mailbox to stop receiving advertisements. They usually end up in the junk anyway.
Reduce your digital household waste
As far as digital data is concerned, however, note that they are also a source of pollution. They are indeed stored in servers that run at full speed. So remember to lighten your mailbox by deleting e-mails that you no longer need.
Rent or borrow instead of buying
Before you want to buy a product, ask yourself if you are going to use it. And if you are better off renting it or borrowing it from a neighbor.
This is the case with particular objects that are only used once or twice for a particular occasion: drill, raclette machine, or camping equipment. When you know that a drill is only running for 12 minutes on average during its entire life.
And if you still want to buy, think about the second-hand market and refurbished items. The mindset behind these actions is to question your drinking habits.
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