5 Easy Ways to Save Money and Reduce Waste
Be kinder to the environment and improve your quality of life with these practical suggestions
A week ago, I chanced upon an interesting story on my Facebook feed. It was an article about Lauren Singer, a New York-based activist who writes about her trash-free and waste-free life on TrashisforTossers.com. Lauren has not thrown anything away for more than two years. She buys food in bulk and even makes her own toothpaste and lotion to cut down on packaging waste. She even has a mason jar and metal utensils in her bag so she doesn't have to use a plastic cup or a plastic spoon and fork.
Learning more about Lauren's choices made me stop and think about my own habits. I thought about how much garbage I leave behind every single day and how it affects the environment and even my own personal life.
Our garbage poses a real threat to our health, safety, and well-being. The things that we dispose of increase the risk of flooding as well as contaminate the planet that we live in.
Here are environmentally-conscious ideas to help you save more money, create an organized space, and lead a better life.
- Think twice before buying
Have you ever purchased something, only to come home and realize that you have three more in your closet? Also, how many times have you thrown food away because you bought too much? These experiences should remind us that before we spend on anything, we should check if we can work with what we already have.
Reusing, recycling, and reupholstering your old belongings can cut down on your living expenses and reduce the waste that you produce.
- Plan your shopping trips
One of the reasons why we sometimes end up with the wrong things or simply more than what we need is because we do not prepare a grocery or shopping list. Write down a list of what you need and check your pantry, refrigerator, and other storage spaces to make sure that you don't have any similar products already.
In the long run, grocery and shopping lists can help you cut down on transportation and other related expenses—you will make less trips to the store and you don't have to pay more for the same products at nearby convenience stores.
- Bring an ec0-bag and other reusable items
Before heading out to the store, you should make sure that you have enough eco-bags with you. Although many establishments in the city now use paper instead of plastic, these paper bags are still eventually thrown away. And, unless they are recycled properly, they also add to the amount of waste in the streets and landfills.
You should also be mindful of your smaller purchases during the rest of the week. We may not notice it but we often receive (and throw away) small paper or plastic bags from convenience stores, fast food chains, and drug stores.
- Say no to small containers
Purchasing smaller amounts is more expensive in the long run. Sachets of shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, and even powdered drinks can also create more waste. You can be kind to both the environment and your wallet by simply buying in bulk.
- Switch to organic and locally made alternatives
Manufacturing, packaging, and transporting some commercially-available cleaning products can produce a lot of waste and use up a lot of fuel, leaving a lasting negative impact on the environment. These products may be harmful to you and your family and the packaging might not even be recycled.
With this in mind, you should consider using natural products like lemon and vinegar for your cleaning needs.
You can also think about patronizing organic and handmade products from the Philippines. Purchasing locally produced goods means that you have bought something that does not use up an alarming amount of resources.
Another great thing about supporting local businesses? You also help provide job opportunities for our fellow Filipinos!
More on Realliving.com.ph