Reducing waste is one of the keys to improving the environment. Decreasing the amount of waste produced by humans helps to reduce pollution reducing emissions needed to produce one time products and packaging, it saves much-needed landfill space and reduces energy consumption.
The waste statistics show that we produce more waste every year, which is not surprising since the world’s population increased by 2 billion (40%!!!) in just 30 years.
While recycling efforts are keeping the waste growth somewhat at bay, it’s up to use to reduce it. Otherwise, the consequences can be rather unfortunate. It doesn’t take a lot of money or some unthinkable effort to reduce waste. Let’s take a look at some cost effective and easy alternatives that can help you do it.
- Cloth Grocery Bag (Around $10)
Every time you head to a supermarket, you use up at least a couple of plastic or paper bags. A plastic bag may take up to 1,000 years to decompose and paper bags require substantial energy to be produced.
A simple cloth grocery bag can be purchased starting $9.99. Cloth or mesh produce bags are also available to cut down on the plastic used when picking out fruits and vegetables.
Besides being very useful for the environment, they look great and don’t tear.
Coffee Thermos (Around $15)
Do you grab a coffee on your way to work? Imagine how many disposable coffee cups you’ve thrown out. A simple coffee thermos can reduce unnecessary waste while keeping your coffee hot and prevent unexpected spills. Such thermoses vary in size and color. They can become a wonderful accessory and companion.
Coffee thermoses start at about $14.99. Most coffee shops also give a small discount when customers bring their own cups!
Reusable Food Containers (Around $10)
Do you like going to restaurants? How many times did you ask for a “doggy bag” to take home?
We’ve learned how not to waste the leftover food but we create even more waste by carrying it in the foam containers. Each restaurant is ready to offer you a huge container for your small leftover meal. Do you really need it? The next time you go to a restaurant, take a reusable container with you.
You can buy them for $9.99 or cheaper. Most salad bars at grocery stores are also willing to weigh your container before you fill it, allowing you to avoid the Styrofoam or plastic.
Beeswax Food Wrap (Around $20)
Do you use plastic wrap and bags to store your food in the fridge? Remember about the 1000 years of decomposition time? You can help the environment by investing in some beeswax food wraps. They are washable and reusable. These wraps keep your food fresh for a long time and cost under $20.
Safety Shaving Razor (Around $10)
Americans alone throw out more than two billion disposable razors every year. If you want to reduce the waste, invest in a safety or straight razor. All you have to do is change the blades, which is much more environmentally friendly than replacing the whole razor. Such razors start at about $10.
These small steps can make a huge difference. You’ll be surprised how comfortable you’ll get with these items over time.