Reduce Your Waste: 4 Easy Ways You Can Be More Environmentally Friendly

There are lots of things you can do to protect our natural environment and be more eco-friendly (And they don’t involve changing your entire life). To help make an impact, you can start taking steps today to reduce your waste – and incorporate more earth-friendly routines. 

We also get it – no one is perfect (including us) – and it can be challenging to change up long-standing habits. That’s why we suggest starting small – and taking steps to change just one thing to make your life a little more green, whether it’s cutting back on plastic, buying products made from recycled materials, or simply getting a reusable water bottle. And there’s also no better time than RIGHT NOW, as millions around the globe are taking part in Plastic Free July, a pledge to remove single-use plastics from your life.

 

So keep scrolling to see 4 ways you can reduce your waste – and shop our picks for the best eco-friendly products.

 

Want even more tips on how to be eco-friendly? Check out our post Ways To Make Your Kitchen More Green.

Cut Back On Single-Use Plastic

 

Single-use plastics may seem unavoidable because they’re still being used just about everywhere- at the coffee shop, grocery store, and the packaging for almost every product. And because of this abundance (and it’s short life span) plastic is also ending up in our oceans, with almost 8 million tons a year being dumped. But what can we as individuals do? Try these few steps to start cutting back on your use -and you’ll begin to create more earth-friendly habits.

  • Carry a travel mug for your coffee – Get in the habit of having a reuseable mug and have your local coffee shop fill it up with your morning brew.
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle – Single-use water bottles are one of the worst environmental offenders (and also one of the easiest things to change). Carry a reusable water bottle instead and you’ll be eliminating thousands of pounds of plastic in your lifetime.
  • Use a cloth of recyclable paper bag – Many cities have already banned the use of plastic bags, but it’s still a good idea to continually recycle your paper grocery bags, or use a reusable cloth bag instead.
  • Ask for NO plastic utensils with your takeout order – They almost always get thrown away, so make a note to not include plastic utensils in your next order.
Photo: Unsplash

Swap Out For Eco-Friendly Alternatives

 

Most of the products we use everyday have much more environmentally friendly versions. And just switching out one product can have a serious impact on the amount of waste you’re contributing to landfills each year. Here are our tips for the easiest ways to incorporate eco- alternatives.

  • Bring In Reusable Bottles – Instead of buying a new bottle each month that just gets tossed, invest in reusable bottles for your shampoo and conditioner, hand soap, and cleaning products.
  • Buy Products Made From Recycled Or Natural Materials – Lots of products are made from natural, sustainable or eco-friendly materials. Consider swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo version, or a metal razor instead of a disposable.
  • Washable, Not Disposable – Switch from disposable products to washable ones that can be reused over and over, like microfiber towels for cleaning or a natural fiber scrub brush instead of a sponge.
Photo: Caleb Adams

When You Can’t Reduce, Reuse

Let’s face it – there will be times when you simply can’t avoid plastic and other products that end us as waste. A lot of food comes in plastic containers, not to mention all the plastic bags and boxes from the things we order online. So for the items that aren’t recyclable, try giving them a new purpose. Here are a few ideas for re-using.

 

  • Re-use takeout containers as food storage – Most plastic takeout containers are perfectly suited for being reused as storage, whether for leftovers, storing baking supplies, or rice and grains.
  • Save boxes for moving or share them – If you accumulate quite a few boxes from all those Amazon orders, consider saving them for a future move, using them as storage in a closet, or even listing them on Craigslist for free.
  • Use Bags as packing materials – If you’ve got an overload of pesky plastic bags lying around, consider using them as packing materials. Wrap delicate items in multiple plastic bags for storing (or shipping) and you’ll never have to reach for bubble wrap again.
  • Create storage solutions – Plastic containers can be given a second life as functional storage. You can reuse large containers with lids (like a yogurt or sour cream package) to store anything from art supplies to beauty products to leftover paint.
Photo: Blueland

SHOP Better Brands 

There are lots of brands (and shopping resources) that are doing their part to create more sustainable products and cut back on waste. Check out some of our favorites for everything from cleaning supplies to haircare.

 

The Eco Warrier – Retailer focused on easy alternatives to reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Blueland – A line of re-usable cleaning products that are refillable.

Cove – A water bottle made of completely biodegradable materials.

Tru Earth – Eco-friendly laundry detergent strips.

Loop – A  service that sends you products in reusable containers, using a zero-waste delivery system. Once you are done with items, all packaging is returned and reused.

Package Free Shop – A retailer aimed at reducing waste, offering all package free or reusable products.

 

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about how you can be more eco-friendly and take steps towards reducing your waste? Check out these resources for more information.

 

The Zero Waste Guide – Easy tips and tricks for incorporating zero-waste practices into your day to day life.

Waste Free Planet – A digital magazine and blog dedicated to creating a sustainable future through awareness, inspiration, and sharing creative ideas for change.

Easy Green Tips – Practical tips to help you be more eco-friendly.

 

 

  1. I don’t know what anyone else’s experience is with takeout, but I request “NO UTENSILS OR NAPKINS” with every order, and they STILL put them in every. single. time. It’s super frustrating.