We’re all looking for ways to reduce waste at home, right? It’s good for the environment, saves money, and something that pretty much everyone at home can help with. Here are some useful tips for reducing waste at home, especially kitchen waste.
Kitchen Waste Containers Separate Trash from Recyclable Materials
More trash accumulates in the kitchen than anywhere else. So focus your green efforts here first.
Kitchen waste containers are a good way to start because they separate actual trash from items that can be recycled. Depending on where you live, you might only need one bin for recycling aluminum, glass, and plastics. Check out your town’s website to see what items need to be recycled separately.
Be sure you rinse out all food, oils, liquids, and debris from items you recycle and that they are dry when you add them to the container to prevent contamination.
Only Buy Food You’ll Eat or Can Safely Store
Americans buy a lot of food but a lot of it becomes kitchen waste. About 20% of all trash is unused or spoiled food. That’s a lot of money and trash. Always make a list before you go grocery shopping. This will keep you from making impulse purchases because something attractive is on sale.
If you don’t mind having your food choices tracked, start using coupons and download your store’s app to save electronic ones to your account. You’ll start receiving coupons and discounts on food you buy. This will help you get used to buying what you know you actually eat or can safely store or freeze. You can freeze items like juices, milk, and bread if you happen to catch a sale. Reusable jars and bags are a good bet.
Studies show it’s also a good idea to shop after a meal.
- Hungry shoppers run up a grocery bill up to ⅔ more than those who shopped on a full stomach!
- Shopping while hungry leads to buying more high-calorie foods.
- Hungry shoppers will even buy more nonfood items because hunger weakens critical thinking.
Of course, you should shop with reusable bags and wash them regularly.
Composting Further Reduces Wastage
If you want to reduce wastage even more, consider composting. You can get helpful tips from your town’s website, usually at listings for farmer’s markets. There are also composting kits for sale to help you get started, and active online communities to get tips.
Pretty much any consumable can be composted. Keep a bowl handy to toss in scraps and freeze them in bags until you’re ready to compost or drop off to a community composting site.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Materials
There are now lots of eco-friendly, green cleaning materials in mainstream stores. Some are product lines within established brands. These materials use natural ingredients to clean and often include white vinegar, for example, which is often cheaper than even off-brand cleaners with ammonia and other things bad to inhale.
- Mix vinegar with three parts of water in a spray bottle (left over from your former life, of course!) to wash produce.
- Mix two tablespoons of vinegar with a gallon of warm water to clean windows.
- Place a container with two cups of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run as usual to descale.
Quickly and safely mop up liquid spills with SpillFix, an all-natural absorbent made from coconut husk. It can be used to contain and soak up toxic and nontoxic spills, from paints and oils to wine and body fluids. It can even be reused for nontoxic cleanup.