One of my girlfriends recently asked me if I wanted to accompany her to a farmer’s market in Downtown Brooklyn. I told her that I would, but only if she would accompany me to Trader Joe’s afterward. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been to farmer’s markets before, but I’ve never actually purchased anything, so this was a new experience for me. As I reached for a plastic produce bag, my friend practically slapped the thing out of my hand. She said “No, no, no. We use these.” She proceeded to pull out cloth produce bags. I was baffled. She started to explain to me what zero-waste living was all about and let’s just say that I thought twice about doing all of my grocery shopping at TJs. When I told her that I was writing this post, she was like “Wait a minute! I want to write this post with you!” So be on the lookout for a guest post soon!
If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume that you already know the gravity of why we need to create less waste as a planet. Every single second, we are ruining our planet little-by-little. It’s pretty messed up and it’s important that we educate our kids on how to better care for the environment. I’m not going to start preaching about environmentalism, but I will talk about small ways that we can leave a smaller carbon footprint. All of these tips will not only help you to create less waste, but they also help you to save money!
Ways to Create Less Waste at Home
- Kick paper towels to the curb. Use cloth napkins in place of single-use paper towels.
- If you have little ones in diapers, switch to cloth diapers.
- Switch from liquid soap, to bar soap. This way you won’t be purchasing single-use plastic packaging. Also, ounce-for-ounce, liquid soap leaves a larger carbon footprint
- Avoid plastic toys and baby supplies. The options are really endless now. There are even glass baby bottles!
- Line dry your clothes. Dryers use a lot of energy. We’ve been line-drying our clothes for almost a year now, and we have no complaints.
- When it’s time to replace your toothbrush, opt for a compostable bamboo one instead of plastic.
- Compost food! There are many resources to help you jump start this.
Ways to Create Less Waste When You’re Out
- Buy food in bulk to reduce plastic, single-use packaging.
- Bring a reusable coffee mug to your favorite coffee shop! Lots of coffee shops will actually give you a discount for bringing your own mug.
- Use cloth produce bags!
- Say “No” to plastic bags at stores and opt for your own reusable bags instead. If you’re like me and you forget to take your bags with you, create a “To-Go” bag. This bag should hold all of your cloth produce bags and extra reusable grocery bags. Keep it near your door, or in your car for when you make trips to the grocery store.
- Use stainless steel or glass straws.
- Stop buying bottled water. Use a reusable glass bottle already!
- Bring your own reusable container for takeout. Say no to single-use styrofoam or plastic.
Helping Your Kids to Create Less Waste
- Buy your kid’s snacks in bulk and divvy up the food using reusable containers
- Invest in a really solid lunch box so that you can reduce or omit the usage of sandwich bags, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.
- If your kids bring home leftover water in their reusable bottles, teach them to pour the water on plants instead of down the drain.
- The Going Zero Waste blog has a pretty cool 31-day zero-waste challenge for kids. Check it out!
I really hope that my shortlist can help you and your family to make major changes! Together we absolutely can make positive changes for our environment. It is possible!