Wondering how to reduce the amount of waste at home? Check out these simple ways to reduce trash in your home or apartment.
So, you’ve already tried Marie Kondo-ing to #sparkjoy, but you are wanting to further reduce waste in your home. That is a great idea as not only will this endeavor give you less to throw away, but also, you’ll greatly reduce your carbon footprint and help simplify your life. Let’s take a look at how to reduce waste in your home in 41 different ways.
In the Kitchen
So much of the waste we produce comes right out of our kitchen, whether it’s plastic and paper bags from the grocery store or food containers from restaurant takeout, there are better ways to reduce the amount of trash in your kitchen.
1. Reusable towels
Instead of using paper towels every time you have a spill in the kitchen, try buying small reusable towels or cloth pads. You’ll find they are equally absorbent and can easily be tossed in the laundry. Cloth napkins are a good choice too.
2. Travel mug
Instead of buying and throwing away disposable cups, invest in a good travel mug. You’ll find these are also remarkably good at keeping your coffee hot on the road, and they come in various shapes and sizes.
3. Reusable shopping bags
If you’ve been to a grocery store, you likely already know that many customers these days bring their own reusable bags. If you’re taking home paper bags every time you buy groceries, you’re definitely making more trash for yourself. There are cloth bags and nylon bags that if you take every time, will help you from filling up that waste container with unneeded plastic bags.
4. Mesh produce bags instead of plastic
Along the same lines, it’s easy to bring mesh produce bags to the grocery store and use these instead of the little plastic bags they provide. Simply wash and dry these occasionally, and they will hold up for a very long time.
So much of the food scraps you throw away can easily be composted. All you need is a small composting container, and you can start throwing away food waste like veggie peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Then throw in the worms.
6. Tea balls or infusers
Why keep buying individual teabags when you can instead buy fresh tea and steep it in a tea ball or other kind of infuser? Yes, tea bags are small, but little things add up to make a big difference.
7. Reusable sandwich bags
If you’re giving your kids brand new sandwich bags every day for school, you’re missing out on the opportunity to give them a reusable option. Just wash and dry after use, and they will be ready for use again the next day.
8. Make your own dish soap
Not only can the cost of dish soap add up, but also these plastic bottles just create more waste. Start making your own dish soap mix and put it in reusable containers. There are lots of good websites with recipes, but we recommend this one.
9. Get a water filter
Yes, some people are still buying plastic bottles of water. You can get clean and purified water through a water filter and skip the BPA concerns associated with plastic bottles. There are so many cute options for reusable water bottles, there is no need to buy plastic water bottles ever again.
10. Reusable coffee filter
No need to skip your coffee every morning, but do you constantly need to use new filters? There are plenty of good coffee filters made out of materials like hemp and even stainless steel.
Once you’ve ditched the plastic sandwich bag, the next thing on your list should be the bags you put kids’ lunches in. A lunchbox is reusable and also can be a lot of fun to use.
12. Join a CSA
When you join a CSA, you’ll entirely skip the need to use plastic bags or any other packaging materials used for fruits and veggies. And your produce comes directly from the farm.
13. Go to farmers markets
Along the same lines, when you buy your produce at farmer’s markets you will cut down on packaging and support your local farmers in the process.
14. Glass containers to store food
If you’re still using Tupperware to store your uneaten food, you haven’t gotten the memo that glass containers are the perfect solution. Glass lasts forever and will not begin to absorb scents and stains that make it a candidate for the trash.
15. Cook more meals
Cook more meals using whole ingredients and minimal processed foods. When you skip fast food and takeout, you ensure that your family gets fresh, healthier meals infused with vitamins and minerals.
16. Learn to make new things
Go DIY and learn to make new delicious foods like yogurt and seltzer water. This will translate to less plastic and glass to worry about throwing away or recycling.
17. Have a garden
Grow your own fruits and vegetables and avoid the store altogether!
18. Dishcloths instead of sponges
Sponges get dirty and constantly need to be thrown away and replaced. When you switch to dishcloths, you’ll be able to save a great deal of money, too.
19. Avoid buying single serving products
Look around at the food you regularly buy and note how many items have wrappers that turns into packaging waste. Ask yourself if there is an alternative food you could buy instead. Could you make it yourself?
20. No straws
Some states and cities have already banned the use of plastic straws in restaurants. It’s easy to replace straws in your home with reusable stainless steel ones.
When it comes to shopping, there are lots of ways to be eco-friendly and cut down on your carbon footprint. Check out these green, sustainable, and environmentally responsible ways to shop sustainably.
In the bathroom
The bathroom is another room in our homes where we end up unnecessarily generating a lot of trash. It’s possible to still have all the shampoo, soap, and other toiletries we need while greatly reducing what we throw away.
If you catch a lot of colds, you are constantly generating waste throwing away tissues. When you switch to handkerchiefs, you’ll find it’s easy to just wash them and keep a fresh supply.
22. Family cloth
While many families aren’t quite daring enough to try this, if you want to be truly sustainable, family cloth should be considered. Once you’re in the habit, it will not be as daunting as it initially seems.
23. Reusable menstrual cups
Let’s face it, when women throw away tampons and pads every month, it adds a lot of waste to your home. Many women have switched to menstrual cups with great success. Check out this link for an example of how they work.
24. Safety razor
Safety razors work even better than disposables and do not need to be constantly thrown away.
25. Make your own cleaning products
Most bathroom cleaning products come in plastic containers and generate a lot of waste. When you start making your own, you’ll save money and conserve resources.
26. Use cloth diapers
Babies are perfectly happy with cloth diapers. It’s easy to either hire a service to wash and resupply them or clean them yourself.
27. Bar soap shampoo
Shampoo bottles are something we throw away without a second thought. Try shampoo that comes in bar soap form and over the course of a year you’ll dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. It’s even possible to make them yourself.
There are definitely a few ways people generate waste in their laundry room. If you’re not careful you will go throw a lot of laundry detergent containers and dryer sheets each month.
28. Dryer balls
Instead of dryer sheets use wool dryer balls. You’ll find that they make your clothes soft and fragrant.
29. Make your own laundry soap
It’s simple to make eco-friendly laundry soap and put it in reusable containers. Some good recipes for laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer balls can be found here.
30. Donate pillows and blankets
Old pillows and blankets don’t need to be thrown away. In fact, they could really benefit someone who might lack these necessary items. These are great items to donate to charities like Goodwill.
31. Donate old clothes
If you’ve been following Marie Kondo’s advice, you have a lot of clothes and shoes to donate. These items should rarely be thrown away unless they are in truly poor shape. Consider giving these items to charity or organize a clothes swap with your friends.
Some of the ways we throw away items in the entertainment rooms of our homes slip under the radar.
32. Stream movies
Back before streaming video was popular, people bought a lot of VHS tapes, DVDs, and Blu-ray. Today, assuming you have an internet connection, it is easy to stream almost any television show or movie you might want to watch or own.
33. Stream audio
Along the same regards, increasingly CDs are becoming history. You’ll likely even find that streaming audio services offer an excellent level of audio quality.
34. Get bills online rather than in the mail
Who likes getting bills in the mail anyhow? Save some paper every month by opting in for online bill delivery.
35. Get more books from the library
Many people value their prized book collections. But do you really need to own every book? If it’s something that you don’t think you’ll be looking at time and time again, consider just checking the book out of your local library.
Your home office is not one of the main places where waste originates, but e-waste dumping tends to be among the most hazardous due to the various toxic chemicals that can leach into the land over time. Here are some ways to do better in your office.
36. Borrow things you rarely need
If you only occasionally use a printer or fax machine, maybe you don’t actually need the machine. The same could be said for household tools that you will only use once or twice. Create relationships with your neighbors where you get in the habit of borrowing from one another.
37. Learn how to extend life of technology
It’s frustrating when a computer that it seems you just bought needs to be replaced due to a virus or decreased speed. The good news is that when you’re properly updating and scanning your computers and phones, they will last longer.
When you have an electronic that stops working for your needs and you have to get rid of it, recycle your e-waste responsibly.
38. Put your trash directly in the can
Do you really need to use garbage bags in your office waste can? Probably not. In fact, most trash cans in your home probably don’t need a plastic liner.
39. Refill printer cartridges
Printer cartridges definitely leave a big imprint in the landfills. Instead of throwing them away and buying new cartridges, simply start refilling them with ink. You’ll save money this way, too.
40. Refillable Desk Pens
Instead of buying and throwing out cheap pens, buy a high-quality refillable pen that you can proudly use for many years. You’ll never have to throw away another pen again.
41. Recycled Paper Waste
Many different kinds of paper can be recycled in bulk bins, including white office paper, newspaper, colored office paper, cardboard, white computer paper, magazines, catalogs, junk mail and phone books.
Make an Impact By Reducing the Trash in Your Home
These 41 ideas only scratch the surface of all the different ways you can make a difference when it comes to your household’s production of trash. If everyone tried to send less to the landfills, it would greatly benefit our planet.
While you might not be able to tackle everything on this list, committing to just 5 or 10 is a definite step in the right direction to reducing the trash in your home.
Book Bulk Trash Pickup BOOK JUNK REMOVAL ❯