6 Waste Contributing Items Every Household Must Get Rid of Immediately

My family has become increasingly aware of the amount of waste we produce. With the ever-increasing amount of plastic and other non-biodegradable trash being created, it’s important that every household do their part to try and eliminate unnecessary waste whenever possible. From reducing the amount of plastic bags we use to switching to eco-friendly cleaning solutions, there are many small but powerful ways we all can do our part to reduce waste.

It's especially important to teach kids -- future generations-- about how they can recycle, not use plastic straws, etc. I purchased the following children's book What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet, to donate to the Sandals Foundation, but it also really engaged my boys as well.

If you are committed to making a difference, here is an easy solution, take a look at this list of 6 waste contributing items that you can get rid of to help reduce your overall carbon footprint.

6 Waste Contributing Items Every Household Must Get Rid of Immediately

Avoid Plastic


Did you know plastic can take up to 1000 years to break down? There are numerous ways a family can reduce the amount of plastic they buy and ultimately ends up in landfills. This is where keeping reusable bags in your car or trunk comes in handy. If you don’t have a lot of items to carry, don’t be afraid to tell the cashier that you don’t want a bag.

Unfortunately, a lot of food items are currently wrapped in plastic. This is one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste. Some supermarkets and grocery stores now offer different items in “pour your own” systems that allow you to bring your own reusable storage containers. This is an excellent way to eliminate plastic from your daily life. I hope more stores will continue to do this.

Instead of plastic wrap or foil at home, we use reusable beeswax food wraps, Silicone Baking Mat Sheets and Pyrex glass food storage containers with lids. Both come in such cute designs too.

Energy Efficient Appliances 


This is likely the most expensive upgrade for a family, but investing in energy-efficient appliances and tech in your home will not only reduce energy waste but will also save you money in the long term. Appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and even TVs are becoming more and more energy-efficient. Check for appliances that have the best energy star ratings, or are especially good at doing more with less water. If you want to upgrade your home and add value to your property make the switch and help the environment as well.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions


Keeping your home clean is essential to maintain a healthy environment. But if you use chemical products to get rid of debris and stains, it’s time you should reconsider this practice. Chemical products may help you clean the surfaces, but they’re extremely harmful to your health. They affect the indoor air quality as well as lead to various health issues.

You should rather opt for natural cleaning solutions that are safe for the environment. It doesn’t need much effort to prepare a non-toxic cleaning solution on your own. Here are some recipes to make effective natural cleaning solutions with vinegar, lemon and other natural materials.

Reusable Bottles 


A plastic water bottle takes up to 450 years to break down, so carrying around a reusable bottle is one of the single biggest ways your family can help reduce waste. Reusable bottles come in a variety of different colors and styles, and can often help keep your drink either cool or warm. If you’re new to the “low-waste lifestyle”, religiously using a refillable bottle is one of the best places to start on your journey to greener living.

We even take empty water bottles to fill with us on flights, road trips and going to Disney World, etc.

Second-Hand Shopping 


Buying your clothes and electronics second hand is always better than buying those items brand new. You may already be practicing this if you have children and are passing down clothing to younger siblings, but try to do this for yourself as well. The fast fashion industry is one of the most destructive industries to our planet. The next time you need a new raincoat or want a new party dress, check out your local charity or thrift stores to grab a bargain and help save money and the environment.

Meal Planning


This is actually the hardest step for me, lol. Food waste is another massive problem we’re facing. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry every night. At the same time, 1/3 of all the food we produce goes to waste. Approx.1.3 billion tons get lost or is wasted.

Taking the time to put together a meal plan for the week can help reduce that number and keep your wallet fuller for longer. If you have leftovers, save them and pack it for you or your kids’ lunch the next day. If food is about to go, freeze it and cook it later. Try to set your household a challenge to use up everything in the fridge or freezer before buying anything new. I do this every year during hurricane season, just in case we lose power and avoid wasting all my freezer items like I did during Irma. Our food shouldn’t be ending up in the trash, and if it is, a little bit of planning and organization can solve that. Learn more ways to #StoptheWaste.

Save leftovers with the following reusable solutions:

 

More: Are You Using Environmentally Harmful Microbeads in Your Beauty Products?

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