We cannot all afford to buy organic produce and environmentally friendly detergents when we go shopping every week, but we can make a difference to the environment by reducing the amount of packaging that we waste every day. Cardboard and plastic make up the bulk of our weekly garbage so by being mindful about what we buy and use, we can make huge improvements on both they type and amount of trash we throw away.
There are 5 easy steps you can take to reduce your packaging waste:
1. Always take your own bags when you go to the grocery store to do your weekly shop. You can buy strong, long lasting bags which you can take out with you every time you go shopping. Also, it is a good idea to keep ‘a bag for life’ on you at all times so that you never have the need to ask the shop for a bag. More than one billion bags are thrown away every year. That is a shocking statistic as it is so easy to do something about it. Many consumers have become lazy and just throw bags in the garbage as well as on to the streets. This includes dog poop bags as well. This thoughtlessness is ruining our world and can easily be tackled with just a little collective will.
2. Change the type of diapers that you usually use. By switching to eco diapers, you will literally reduce your diaper wasted by half. These environmentally friendly diapers are made from 50% more biodegradable materials and are chlorine free. They can be kinder to sensitive skin than generic diapers and are no more expensive. Alternatively, you could go back to the old fashioned method of using towelling diapers and washing them which will give you no waste at all.
3. When buying washing detergents and cleaning sprays try to buy the largest sizes you can and decant into smaller bottles and boxes at home. This will also save on trips to the grocery store so will save your gas as well. You can actually buy catering sizes of these products at wholesale outlets which can last you for as long as 6 months so you should end up saving about five months worth of waste from going into the garbage.
4. Stop buying bottled water to use at home. If you are unable to drink tap water for whatever reason, the solution is easy. Buy a water filter and it will remove anything unpleasant from your tap water, such as a metallic taste or too much chlorine. Water filters are inexpensive and easy to pick up from the grocery store, chemist or online. They normally come with a spare cartridge but these are inexpensive to replace anyway. Not only will you save a lot of cash by doing this, you will be reducing your packaging waste dramatically as you will not be throwing several plastic bottles in the garbage every week.
5. Always prepare meals from scratch. Instead of buying handy convenience food which you can cook in the oven or microwave, start buying fresh ingredients and making your own pizzas, casseroles and pasta. Buy meat from a butcher as it is usually just wrapped in paper unlike the grocery store which places everything in plastic containers; create your own marinades so that you can stop buying these pieces of meat which have been sprinkled with a few herbs! It is cheaper, tastier and healthier to cook from scratch. You will not have any more lasagne cartons or aluminium boxes to throw away.
There will be more space in your cupboards and freezer by cooking with fresh produce. Another great reason for doing this is it that you will also be supporting local farmers. Everyone knows that fresh food tastes much better anyway. You just have to be organised. Assess what you already have in your kitchen and plan meals around that. Even if you just spend one afternoon each week cooking, then freezing what you have made, it will make your life a lot easier and will improve your health.
By reducing your packaging waste using these 5 easy steps, you are preventing thousands of tonnes of petrochemicals and chemicals entering our atmosphere. By disposing of less boxes and paper products, you are saving thousand of trees from being chopped down every week. A little effort and thought is all it takes to go a little greener, and do your bit for the environment.
About the Author
Grace Pamer is a work from home eco mom and the author of www.RomanceNeverDies.com, one womanís on going quest to get the world reaquainted with the art of writing love letters for her and for him.