I gotta admit. This one was the most daunting to me. While we still have A LOT of trash, we are constantly mindful about ways to reduce it. We used to use paper plates a lot (they are just so convenient) but we only use our glass dishes now. Noah used to go through MANY disposable coffee cups a day at the local coffee shop or at work, but I got him this reusable one that is barista friendly. Next on my list is to reduce our use of paper towels, which Elsie Larson recently wrote about on A Beautiful Mess.
While these small changes are a bit of an adjustment at first, you aren’t only helping reduce waste, you’re also going to spending a lot less money! Other than a little more inconvenience at times, it really is a win-win. Plus, you won’t have to take the trash out as often! 😉
Some easy ways to reduce waste:
- Use reusable grocery bags (and recycle the plastic bags you might accidentally get)
- Use cloth towels instead of disposable ones
- Refuse plastic straws when you eat out (HUGE pollution from those little guys) or carry around a reusable one.
- Avoid pre packaged items when possible (or get in bulk)
Obviously this goes hand in hand with reducing waste, but I figured I’d separate it out. Growing up we always recycled but since our apartment doesn’t have a recycling service, we got out of the habit. Noah and I don’t drink soda but we got through a TON of bottled and canned sparkling/mineral water.
This year I finally got my act together and starting saving all the cans and bottles. After we’ve collected a significant amount, we will take the aluminum cans to the recycling plant for some big money (not haha. But everything counts right?) and we will take the glass bottles to family that does have recycling pick up.
We also have a Nespresso coffee machine which is a major no-no in the waste free world (it has individual disposable pods), but after doing some research I found out that you can ship your used pods to Nespresso for free and they will recycle them for you. Win!
Getting started on recycling:
- Always choose glass over plastic
- Start paying attention to the resin code
- Research your city’s recycling policies