Reducing home waste may seem like a difficult thing to do, as many people don't know where or how to start.
However, there are tons of ways that you can reuse things within your household to reduce the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis. Read on for six ways that you can reuse things in your house and help reduce your home's environmental impact.
Use rags instead of paper towels
One of the best ways to reduce your home's waste is to stop using paper towels. As the folks at wholepeople.com explain, paper is still a major source of waste, despite what some people might think.
The dangers include the fact that trees are chopped down and turned into pulp to make paper towels, contributing to deforestation. In addition, the manufacturing process of paper towels consumes a lot of energy and creates pollutants.
A much better alternative is to use rags to clean up spills and messes. You can buy some reusable clothes from your local store or you can make your own. Here's how to make your own rags:
1. Cut your old T-shirts or clothes into small pieces. Make sure that they're all about the same size so that they can be used interchangeably.
2. Fold each piece of fabric in half and then in half again. This will create a square-shaped piece of fabric.
3. Cut off the bottom seam of each square so that it's about 8-10 inches wide.
4. Finally, hem the raw edges of each square so that they won't fray. To hem the pieces, simply fold the edges over about half an inch and then sew along the hem to hold it in place by using a zigzag stitch.
Store food in reusable containers
Another great way to reduce your home's waste is to stop using disposable food containers. Plastic and aluminium containers can be recycled, but they often end up in landfills instead.
Instead, try storing food in reusable containers made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel. Not only will this reduce the amount of waste you produce, but it'll also save you money in the long run.
There are also health reasons to switch to reusable food containers. Many disposable containers are made with BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into your food.
BPA has been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer and infertility. So, not only is it bad for the environment, but it's also not good for your health!
Make your own cleaning supplies
Commercial cleaning supplies can be expensive and they often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both the environment and your health. This is because many of the ingredients in these products are not biodegradable and can contaminate water supplies.
A much better solution is to make your own cleaning supplies using natural ingredients that are safe for both you and the planet. Here are some cleaning supplies you can make on your own:
- Glass cleaner: Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle.
- All-purpose cleaner: Mix one part baking soda with four parts water in a spray bottle.
- Carpet cleaner: Mix one part vinegar with four parts water. spraying the solution onto the carpet and then blotting it up with a towel.
- Furniture polish: Mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice in a spray bottle.
- Toilet cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda onto the toilet brush and scrub the toilet bowl. Then, pour vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub again with the brush and flush.
- Drain cleaner: Pour baking soda into the drain. Then, pour vinegar down the drain and wait until it stops fizzing before flushing with hot water.
Use rechargeable batteries
One of the biggest sources of waste in the home is batteries. More than 3 billion batteries are thrown away each year. This is because most batteries are not recyclable and end up in landfills.
One way to reduce this waste is to use rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times, so they are much more environmentally friendly than their disposable counterparts.
By using rechargeable batteries, you can cut your battery consumption by up to 75%. This means that one set of rechargeable batteries can replace as many as 500 disposable batteries.
Many people don't realize that the average household has dozens of appliances plugged in at all times, even when they're not in use. These appliances can draw “phantom power” which wastes electricity.
To reduce this waste, make sure to unplug or turn off your appliances when you are not using them. This includes items like TVs, DVD players, computers, and printers.
Reuse shipping materials
When you order products online, they are often shipped to you in cardboard boxes. Most people throw these boxes away once they've received their shipment, but what many people don't realize is that these boxes can be reused.
Many companies even offer shipping supplies for free to encourage customers to reuse their materials. Shipping supplies like bubble wrap and packing peanuts can be reused many times, so make sure to save them for future shipments.
Making a few small changes in your daily routine can have a big impact on the amount of waste you produce and the health of the planet.
By using reusable food containers, making your own cleaning supplies, using rechargeable batteries, and unplugging appliances, you can drastically reduce the amount of waste you produce and live a healthier lifestyle at the same time.