Waste not, want not, or so the old saying goes. It may be a cliché, but it’s true. When you reduce waste in your home or workplace, you’ll see almost immediate benefits. The simplest things can add up to big savings. Apply these four steps to curb waste in your home or office.
Evaluate Your Habits
Approaching any task without a plan is one of the biggest impediments to progress. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to help you get a grip on monitoring your habits. Many companies know the importance of the waste hierarchy tool. It will help you determine the best course of action to reduce waste by ensuring you get as much as you can from the materials used before disposal.
The hierarchy is in the form of an inverted pyramid with the following tiers: Avoid and Reduce Waste, Reuse Waste, Recycle Waste, Recover Energy, Treat Waste, and Dispose of Waste. Assess your habits. Are you recycling metals and plastics (tier 3)? Are you throwing away shopping bags, or can you give them a second life (tier 2)? The tool helps figure it all out.
Feed the Soil
Food waste is bad on many levels. The amount of energy and effort put into growing and producing food is all for naught when you throw most of it away. Portion control isn’t just a way to lose weight—it can help you monitor how much food you’re eating versus tossing in the trash.
No matter how hard you try, you sometimes can’t finish everything. Give uneaten food a chance by setting up composting stations. You can turn fruits, vegetables, paper products, coffee grounds, and other food products into compost to enhance soil. This can lead to other sustainable ideas, like a backyard or community garden. We take a lot from the earth—be sure to give something back.
Here’s the third of our four steps to take to curb waste in your home or office. Paper is a wonderful and indispensable material, but it’s not always necessary. Use fewer trees by switching to a paperless home or office. Switch to electronic payments for all your bills. Stop using paper towels and convert old towels and clothes into cleaning rags. Trees take a long time to grow. Give them a chance to do it by using less paper.
Ban the Bottle
Plastic bottles are among the biggest pollutants out there. Bottled water may be convenient, but it’s a single-use vessel that lasts forever in a landfill. Provide your family and employees with metal water bottles that they can use, clean, and reuse again and again. What’s more, reusable bottles are easy to clean, won’t break, and replace a thousand or so disposable plastic bottles per individual.