Trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle? A great place to start is waste reduction.
We fill our homes with so much stuff. Think about how much garbage you create each week! Now imagine if you could cut that in half simply by making changes to your lifestyle.
And if you’re looking for another incentive, cutting back on waste means you’ll make far fewer trips to the dumpster every week. Not a bad perk, especially when it’s freezing cold outside!
Try these seven easy ways to start producing less waste and reducing your greenhouse gas emissions:
When you buy items in small quantities, that means each portion is individually packaged, and each package goes straight to the waste bin.
By buying in bulk, you can cut back on extra waste.
Try to avoid foods and products with individually wrapped contents; for example, a box of granola bars with each bar inside wrapped.
Here’s an alternative: Make your own granola bars!
Mix up a big batch using oats, honey, and dried fruit, then pop it in the oven. Cut it into small squares and keep it in your fridge. You can freeze any leftovers to use the following week.
By making your own snacks instead of buying pre-packaged ones, you’ll save money, eat healthier, and reduce food waste! Sure, it takes more time, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
It’s easy to rely on plastic packaging; plastic is cheap, easy, and convenient. From plastic bags to plastic wrap, it’s super useful for packing up leftovers.
Look around you. How many things in your immediate vicinity will only be used once? Even if the item is recyclable, it takes energy to break it down.
Unfortunately, single-use plastics stick around long after you throw them away. Did you know that almost all plastic ever made still exists on our planet? It’s hard to fathom what that looks like, but there’s one clear takeaway: It’s time to cut back on plastic.
We encourage you to look for alternatives, like reusable containers that can be used repeatedly instead of Styrofoam ones that get thrown away after one meal. You can save the takeout containers from your favourite restaurant or purchase a glass set from the grocery store. Buy reusable water bottles instead of using plastic water bottles.
Whenever possible, trade your disposable items for reusable ones.
We’re all guilty of it: Sometimes, you toss an item in the trash because you aren’t totally sure if it’s recyclable. What can you do to prevent this common mistake?
Depending on where you live, the items that can be recycled will vary. For example, in Winnipeg, black plastics aren’t accepted.
Consider placing a recycling guide near your trash bin. Having it within eyesight will encourage you to double-check when you aren’t sure. Or, bookmark the Recyclepedia, so it’s handy whenever you need to check which materials are accepted.
You’ve probably heard about composting by now, but you aren’t sure how to get started with it.
Composting is when you put certain types of food waste into a compost bin instead of the trash can. A few examples include egg shells, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags, and fruit and vegetable scraps.
Why should you try composting? For one, it cuts back on the amount of waste you produce. Rather than sending food scraps to the trash, you’re repurposing them for something else.
Another benefit? You can use your compost as fertilizer in your garden. When summer comes around, add your compost to the earth that your home-grown vegetables are planted in. It’s nutrient-rich food for your plants.
Here’s a surprising fact: Every year, up to 60% of the food produced in Canada gets thrown away. Most of that food is thrown out because it isn’t eaten before it spoils.
You’ve most likely dealt with this yourself. You start the week by buying a bunch of vegetables, fully intending to cook with them. But they end up going bad before you do. What can you do to eat healthily and reduce food waste?
Meal planning is when you choose meals for each night of the week before you go grocery shopping. That way, you’ll only buy what you need, and you’ll make sure it gets used.
Meal planning takes time and forethought, but it will help you stick to a healthier diet and cut back on takeout. Not only will you reduce household waste, but you’ll get rid of that dreadful moment—the one where you come home from a long day of work and have no idea what to cook!
You used to see plastic bags everywhere you went; you were handed them with your grocery orders and your takeout meals. Now, not as much. We’re starting to see this type of plastic phased out in favour of reusable bags. It’s time to hop on board the reusable bag train!
We suggest taking a few reusable bags with you in your car or backpack. That way, if you need to make a last-minute trip to the store, you don’t need to buy extra bags.
Reusable items aren’t better for the environment if they only get used once! Try to use the same bags each time you visit grocery stores.
We’re willing to wager that most of the time, the paper receipts you’re given at a store get crumbled up in your pocket and thrown out a few days later.
Whenever you have the option, ask for an electronic receipt instead. You’ll still have a copy to keep for your records, and you’ll cut back on wasted paper. Even better, your bag won’t be cluttered with lost receipts!
The new year has arrived, and you’re ready to change your habits and reduce waste. It’s the perfect time of year to make a change. Maybe it’s time for a new apartment, too?
If so, you can find your next apartment with Globe. Visit our website to view our available listings, which you can sort by amenities, price, and neighbourhood. We’ll be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us today!