Waste is a serious problem for our planet and one that we are all responsible for reducing but that doesn’t mean you need to commit to a life of no more lipstick or venti lattes. Here are some simple ways you can cut down on waste and even save yourself some cash.
Get some reusable containers
Our landfills are full of water bottles, coffee cups and plastic bags, so invest in some reusable food and drink containers and bring them with you everywhere. S’well makes super cute water bottles, Baggu makes shopping bags that you can fold up and keep in your purse and you can get some simple glass containers from Ikea. You can even keep up your Starbucks habit with one of their travel mugs.
Look into other reusable products
Take a good look around your bathroom. There are probably so many one-time use items that you are using and throwing away on a regular basis. The good news? You can find a reusable alternative for pretty much anything. Shaver? Check. Cotton rounds? Check. Feminine products? Check. Tooth brushes? Check.
Look for biodegradable packaging
Packaging is the worst when it comes to waste. There aren’t many beauty products out there that are package free (good on you, LUSH) but there are some brands that offer biodegradable, or at least recyclable, packaging. Elate Cosmetics, Organic Essence, Fable Naturals, Phoenix Botanicals, Pangea Organics and Karen Murrell are a few to check out.
Buy dry goods in bulk
Hey, did you know that the bulk store sells more than sour candy and chocolate pretzels? It’s true. Some bulk stores will let you bring in your own contains and, even if they don’t, they still use way less packaging, so stock up on dry goods like rice, pasta, cereals, spices and tea and put them in glass jars at home. You can even buy a lot of household products like laundry detergent and dish soap.
Freeze your odds and ends
If you have berries that are going soft, bananas that are turning brown or greens that are beginning to wilt, throw them in your freezer and use them for smoothies. The same goes for broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, potatoes and any other vegetables that can be used for soup. Filling your freezer with odds and ends that are about to go bad will reduce your food waste and save you so much money on your grocery bill.
There’s more to secondhand shopping than vintage Levis and leather jackets. You can get just about anything used, including pots, pans, glasses, dishes, linens, drapes and furniture, so think outside the department store the next time you need some housewares. And don’t be grossed out about cooking with a used baking dish. It’s nothing that a little baking soda and vinegar can’t handle.
Main image via S’well