A glimpse at world waste statistics in 2021 is startling. The total global municipal solid waste stands at 2.01 billion tons, which is equivalent to 168 million truckloads of waste. This is projected to shoot up to 3.4 billion tons by 2050.
That tells you that you should do something today as an individual to help curb this waste crisis. Here are seven ways you and your family can reduce waste at home:
1. Abandon Plastic Bags
As revealed in this infographic, Australia alone uses more than 10 million plastic bags every day. Worldwide, you’re looking at 2.8 billion single-use plastic bags on a daily basis. The bad thing about this is that most of those plastic bags end up in the oceans and destroy the marine ecosystem.
Therefore, consider using reusable bags when shopping instead of the usual plastic bags. Stock a number of these reusable bags in your office, at home, and in your car so that you’re always armed with one whenever you need to do some shopping.
2. Filter Your Drinking Water
Plastic bottles are another gigantic menace. Americans alone use 60 million plastic water bottles every day. Globally, official statistics reveal that humans purchase one million plastic bottles every minute. That may be mind-boggling, but it’s true.
See to it that you don’t become a part of those statistics. You don’t have to purchase bottled water. There are reliable water filters and water softeners in the market that you can use to purify tap water until it’s similar in quality to bottled water.
Look for reverse osmosis water filters with remineralization cartridges. These remove virtually every impurity in water and add useful minerals to the purified water.
3. Ban The Use Of Straws
You don’t have to be the city mayor to impose a ban on the use of straws. Think of a self-ban or a ban for your whole family.
Let’s face it: you can enjoy your drinks without a straw. Yet people worldwide use more than 500 million straws every day that only serve to harm the environment. Therefore, make a personal resolve to stop using disposable straws.
4. Compost Kitchen Waste
It hurts to learn that about 20% of food finds its way to the trash can. Couple this with other types of kitchen waste, and you won’t want to imagine the amount of biodegradable waste people send to landfills.
A good approach is to compost all of your food waste. You can use the resulting compost in your home garden or farm to improve the soil structure and boost soil nutrient count. Agricultural experts claim that natural compost may be more beneficial to your crops than artificial fertilizers.
5. Mend Your Clothes
A good number of clothes that end up in the trash could’ve simply been fixed and used again. The next time your trousers get torn, determine if the tear is fixable or not before getting rid of it. In doing so, you’ll help reduce clothing waste that now stands at 36,000 kg every hour in Australia alone.
Also, consider buying high-quality clothes that last long enough as opposed to low-quality ones that need to be replaced every other month or so.
6. Go Paperless
We live in a digital world, so you no longer need to print all kinds of paperwork at home. Use digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers to cut down on paper waste. Here are some other tips you can try:
- Store your files on the cloud instead of a filing cabinet.
- Use word processors instead of a notebook.
- Use the calendar on your smartphone instead of printed planners.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail lists.
- If you own a business, instruct your financial partners to send e-statements instead of printed ones.
- Clear your bills online to reduce the number of paper receipts you receive.
- Only print what’s absolutely necessary.
7. Cook At Home
Buying packed food from restaurants is a notorious source of single-use plastics. Think of coffee cups, plastic bags, disposable plates, water bottles, and ketchup packets. You then chuck all of those plastic items into the trash bin once you’re done with them.
By cooking at home, you significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste you generate. You simply have to wash all the utensils and cutlery you use, and the cycle can go on for years before you have to replace your worn kitchenware.
Environmental conservation starts with you. Don’t expect the government or large corporations to magically reduce environmental pollution. Make a conscious effort to reduce waste in your home. If everyone in your neighborhood does this, the overall impact on the environment will be significant.