7 Effortless Ways to Minimize Waste Around the Home

The average American produces around 4.8 pounds of waste each day, which adds up to over 1,500 pounds of waste each year. While some of this will eventually degrade and be absorbed back into the earth, most trash doesn’t break down and will just sit in landfills, contributing toxins to the ground, water, and air. To better protect the environment, here are seven simple ways you can minimize waste around the home.

7 Ways to Minimize Waste in Your Home

1. Reduce plastic use

Roughly 9.1 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, and since most plastic isn’t biodegradable, that waste will remain in our environment for hundreds of thousands of years. You can reduce plastic use in the home by considering these eco-friendly alternatives:

  • Invest in a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles.
  • Bring a reusable tote bag with you when you go shopping (most reusable bags cost around 99 cents).
  • Swap out plastic wrap for natural beeswax wrap.
  • Use bars of soap rather than bottled soap.
  • Opt for a reusable metal or wood safety razor that comes with reusable blades.

2. Repair your appliances instead of replacing them

If you have an appliance that starts to break down, consider making the necessary repairs instead of throwing the appliance away and getting a replacement. Though making repairs may be more time-consuming, electronic waste (e-waste) can have negative impacts on the environment and your health when improperly disposed in regular landfills or illegally dumped.

Before getting rid of your appliance, check to see if it’s covered by a home warranty or a product insurance plan. Most home warranties and product insurance plans will cover repairs for appliances that have broken down due to normal wear and tear—if this is the situation you find yourself in, you’ll be able to fix your appliance, prevent material waste, and save hundreds of dollars in the process.

3. Start composting

Compost enriches the soil, suppresses plant diseases, deters pests, and reduces the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Creating compost is neither complicated nor expensive, and all it requires is just a few materials and the right combination of organic matter. To begin, you’ll need these three ingredients (the general rule is to have equal parts green and brown matter):
1. Brown material—this includes dead leaves, branches, or twigs
2. Green material—this can be composed of grass clippings, vegetable scraps, and used coffee grounds
3. Water—this will deliver moisture needed to break down the organic matter
Once you’ve gathered your matter, select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile. Add your materials to a plastic or metal bin. If you prefer, you can cover the top of the bin with a tarp to keep the materials inside moist. When the material at the bottom of the bin is dark and rich in color (this can take anywhere between two months and two years), your compost is ready to use.

4. Cancel magazine or newspaper subscriptions

If you notice that your magazines and newspapers start to pile up and you’re constantly throwing them out without so much as a glance in their direction, consider canceling the subscriptions online. If you still want to keep your favorite editorial subscriptions, opt for an online subscription—this will reduce the amount of paper waste you create.

5. Make your own household cleaners

Avoid buying commercial cleaners by making your own natural cleaners at home. Try these three solutions for all-around home cleaning:

  • White vinegar—Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture onto glass and windows and wipe it away with newspaper or a microfiber cloth for a streak-free clean.
  • Baking soda—Mix warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda to remove surface grease from stove tops and counters.
  • Tea tree oil—This is a natural fungicide that can effectively get rid of mold spores and mildew in your home. Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water and apply the solution to affected areas. Let it sit for several minutes and wipe it away with a microfiber towel.

6. Create a meal plan

Not only is material waste a problem, but food waste is just as serious . To avoid throwing away expired foods that go untouched, plan on only buying groceries that you know you’ll eat. By meal prepping every Sunday, you can ensure you have a set meal for each day of the week. Creating a meal plan will also help reduce the amount of times you eat out and bring home leftovers in plastic or Styrofoam containers.

7. Buy in bulk

Not only does buying in bulk help you save money, but it’s also an eco-friendlier strategy that helps cut down on plastic use and food waste. Some grocery stores will offer dry goods like grains, nuts, and dried fruit in bulk—by choosing these items, you can save a few dollars and avoid plastic packaging.

Do you have any tips or suggestions to help stop the pollution and minimize waste in your household? If so please share them in the comment section below!

Please share this article with everyone you can to help bring awareness to the waste that we are accumulating everyday and help make this world just a little bit cleaner each day.

This post is part of the Self Reliance Challenge 2019 for a Simpler Life so please check all the informative and valuable information provided from all the bloggers participating.

If you want to live a greener, healthier, happier life please subscript to my blog and learn many tips to help you on your road to a cleaner environment and healthier world.!

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About the author

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! I believe in living green, organically, and natural in every aspect of our lives. My mission is to help educate you on how to live green, help save our environment and to help you and your family live a happier, healthier life!

22 thoughts on “7 Effortless Ways to Minimize Waste Around the Home”

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Tourism: Practicality, Complications, & Necessity

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    1. You sure are right about that. We need to reduce our waste to stop the pollution and over flowing landfills. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Great tips! I need to ditch the plastic water bottles. We’re going to invest in stainless steel cups for our entire family this year.

    1. Hi Bethany,
      Thanks I am glad you liked my tips. I use stainless steel water bottle for the last couple of years and they are great. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day!

  4. homeandharrow

    I love these tips for being less wasteful! Thank you for sharing a great post!

    1. Hi Lacey,
      I am so glad you like my tips on how to less wasteful and hope you implement them into your life. Have a healthy, happy & blessed New Years!

  5. I think my biggest waste is food, and reducing that waste is already on my list of goals for 2019. Thanks to the Country Boy, we do most of our own repairs. There are others on this list that I am going to look at more closely and do my best to accomplish every one of them! Marla – I love you website!!!!

    1. HI Julie,
      Thanks I am so glad you like my website. I appreciate you saying that. Most of us do waste a lot of food – I am working at that myself and am really trying to teach my husband to stop wasting food and its working. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. LOVE these, Marla!! Especially repairing appliances instead of replacing them. We usually just go buy a new “thing” if we can, or just go without because it’s an effort to get someone out here to repair. BUT what a better thing to do! And the plastics! I totally agree—I hate all the plastic packaging these days.

    1. Hi Heidi,
      I have reduced my plastic to almost non existent in my home. I use glass for storing and glass or stainless steel for mixing. We have become such a wasteful society but thankfully I can see an awareness and a substantial change our wastefulness. Have a healthy, happy & blessed New Year!

  7. Great advice! My mother started a recycling program in our hometown in the 70’s so I learned from an early age how important it is to minimize the waste in our household!

    1. HI Nancy,
      That great to hear. You should be really proud of your Mother. You grew up recycled so it is just becomes a natural way of life. Have a healthy, happy & blessed New Years!

  8. Great ideas. My family has just began being more conscious of waste in the last year. I actually recycled for my first time ever, a couple months ago. Honestly, the biggest underlying reason, is our dump went up to $25 for household garbage and I can recycle for free.

    So it’s a win for the environment and our budget.

    1. HI Dianne,
      So glad to hear that you are recycling and becoming conscious of the waste we produce in overwhelming amounts. It a great idea when you can help the environment and be frugal at the same time. Have a healthy, happy, & blessed New Years!

  9. Kristi@StoneFamilyFarmstead

    Great ideas, Marla! This post has inspired me to be less wasteful!

    1. HI Kristi,
      So glad you liked my ideas and that they inspired you to be less wasteful. I think we all need improvement in being less wasteful. Thanks for stopping and commenting.

  10. Hi Marla…I’m happy to say that I do most of these things already! I have been composting all of my kitchen waste or feeding to the chickens for years. We always take our stainless steel bottle of water with us when we go out. I buy in bulk from co-ops for many things and make most of my own cleaners. 🙂

    Glad to see these good ideas shared in your post…I hope that your readers are making planet friendly changes as they read your posts!

    1. HI Lisa,
      That’s great that you are doing most of these things already. It is so important that we take seriously ways to be self reliant and self-sufficient and that we reduce out waste. I hope my readers are reducing their waste. Everyone needs to start reducing waste in every way they can. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a healthy, happy & blessed New Years!

  11. This is wonderful Marla and we do all of these things. Must say there is always room for improvement.

    1. HI Candy,
      You sure are right about – I think we all need to improve on being less wasteful. I am so glad to hear that you do all these things – that’s wonderful! Have a healthy, happy & blessed day!

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