Hi everyone, I’m Kathryn from Going Zero Waste. I’m excited to be doing a 3 part series with The Homesteading Hippy focusing on reducing your waste around the home, the work place, and afterhours.
Why should I reduce my waste?
Landfills emit greenhouse gasses, poison ground water, and contaminate the surrounding soil. There are countless statistics about plastic in the ocean and how it’s destroying wildlife. We’re constantly reminded that we’re running out of vital resources, but we keep producing at larger and larger rates. But, the most important reason – it’s better for you. You’ll be saving money, you’ll be learning new skills, you’ll know exactly what’s going into your body, and as a bonus – you don’t have to take the trash out as often. People who focus on experiences rather than things live happier, more fulfilled lives. You’ll eat healthier, you’ll be happier, and you can pat yourself on the back for helping out the sea turtles.
So, How can I reduce my waste?
Here’s my top 10 for the home:
- Stop junk mail before it ever gets to your mailbox. I hate dealing with junk mail. It’s a complete waste of time and paper. Did you know physical mail is the number one way to steal identities?
- Stop using plastic bags. I love the ritual of putting away my cloth bags. I love emptying them, folding them, and knowing they have a place. Those flimsy, krinkly, plastic bags have no place in my life. I find them to be incredibly annoying. 2 million plastic bags are used every minute. This includes sandwich and snack bags. Try wrapping your sandwich in a cloth napkin. The napkin works double as a carrier, place mat, and napkin.
- Start composting. Food does not break down in landfills. It can’t get enough air, especially when tied in thick black plastic bags.
- Sub paper towels for rags. When they’re dirty throw them in with your next wash.
- Buy food in bulk. Not the Costco kind of bulk, but buy it package free. Did you know on average we pay 10% more for packaging? Cut costs by cutting the packaging. Benefits include buying what you need,and food is less likely to spoil when you’re buying smaller amounts.
- Make your own cleaning products from things found in your pantry. Curb dangerous chemicals from entering your home. Not only do I find these products to be superior in grease fighting power, but I feel safe with my friends kids and my dogs running around and licking the floor.
- Switch up your beauty routine. Avoid harsh chemicals by making your own products. Your skin and hair will thank you. It’s so easy to make makeup, lotion, and deoderant. You’ll have less packaging, less chemicals, a happier body, and a happier wallet.
- Look for products that can pull double duty. You can switch to castile soap for almost anything. It’s great for dishes, laundry, skin, body, and hair. A couple of drops mixed in a spray bottle with water makes for a great all purpose cleaner.
- Instead of using tissues, use handkerchiefs. Your nose will be less likely to chafe.
- Use real plates, real silverwear, real cups, and cloth napkins. I’ve found it’seasier to get everyone around the dinner table, when dinner feels special. Cloth napkins do the trick for us!
I want my home to be a place or order and peace.
I find that having less stuff makes me more present. I also find so much more joy in the little things like folding napkins, washing jars, and hanging things out to dry. A cluttered life leads to a cluttered mind. If you want some more tips for curbing waste around your home, check out my blog!