The wave of banning plastic bags in shopping centres has begun, and my city is soon to be hit.
While I personally applaud this change, signing petitions to help the cause be heard, it has honestly also caused some low-key panic. What on earth will I do when I run out of plastic bags?? I use them in my bins! How will I get my rubbish outside into the big, smelly trash can? This caused a passionate scurry for new ideas. I soon found that biodegradable bags are available, and these are clearly much better for the environment. But they’re expensive!
That’s when I decided I may as well just join the #reducewaste cause instead. There are amazing role models online heralding the way for getting your year’s waste down to the size of a jar.
Man, taking out the trash is my most hated job. Imagine if the bin was always empty??
And so, this year I have been living with the aim to reduce my waste. I’ve always been big on recycling, but it’s time this becomes simply an additional measure rather than the extend of effort.
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Here are 10 easy ways you can save money AND reduce waste in your home!
1. Sign up to a library
Sounds so obvious, right? But since I finished high school, if I want to read something, I buy it. Not only have I NOT read most of the books I’ve bought, it’s cost me a lot of money, and it creates unwanted clutter in the home. Best to get it out from the local library, read it, and then buy it if you really want a copy (and e-reading, or kindles are another great option if you have the technology!).
2. Buy bamboo toothbrushes
Why do we use plastic toothbrushes that go straight to landfill? Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable and crazy affordable! It’s a no-brainer. You can get them in pretty colours, infused with charcoal (which is amazing for teeth whitening) or beautifully plain. Go order some now!
3. Get a worm farm for your compost scraps
Worm farms are my favourite. They produce organic liquid fertiliser AND potting mix full of nutrients from your scraps! They don’t smell, nor do they require much love. Plus you can get them on Amazon. All hail Amazon, seriously. Is there anything you can’t buy there!?
4. Buy vegetables from a market without the layers of plastic
My local supermarkets are the biggest culprit of wrapping every little thing in plastic. So I now go to a farmer’s market which allows me to buy loose vegetables for cheaper!
While we’re talking vegetables, eat more of them and less of packaged foods! Your body will LOVE you for it! (And so will the environment).
5. Bring your own bags to the store
I bought big bags for the check-out, and made my own bags from old scarves for the small bits and pieces – the tomatoes, potatoes, apples, chilli, etc! I even got a compliment when I used them for the first time!
Check out my DIY reusable grocery bags here, and maybe even make some of your own.
6. Buy biodegradable recycled toilet paper, paper towel & tissues
You can get these from a fantastic company called Who Gives a Crap – they arrive so quickly too!
This is one of my favourite companies. You can chose your toilet paper to be made from recycled paper or bamboo toilet paper. They also give 50% to developing countries to provide clean water and reduce children dying from diarrhoeal diseases. Plus, they love their poo jokes. Who doesn’t love a good poo joke? As they say, good for your bum, great for the world!
For paper towels you can even go a step further and ditch them completely! Elsie Larson’s post on how her family stopped using paper towels is super inspiring… basically just swap them out for a nice big supply of microfibre cloths and you’re good to go!
7. Run a clothes swap with friends to get a new wardrobe for free!
Want to know how? Check out the inside scoop on a clothes swap I recently attended! They are the best for a girls day catch up, and you go home with room in your closet, a new garment AND your bank account is happy.
8. Plant your own little herb garden
Just try to keep it alive. They like lots of sun, and lots of water. And use the worm-fertiliser from your new worm farm on your herb garden! Who doesn’t love fresh herbs in their meals that didn’t cost a stinking fortune?
9. Buy second hand as much as possible
Whether it’s from an op-shop, from a friend, or from online apps such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and Carousell – for all things clothes and accessories! Seriously. The amount of things I have gotten from these online marketplaces. A Thermomix. Textbooks. A desk. Trays for my classroom. A washing machine. The list is endless. I’ve saved sooo much money, helped the environment, and had no issues with quality!
10. Find a store that sells your pantry items loosely and take your own jars and bags!
These are popping up all over the place and most allow you to take your own jars. Just use your old pasta-sauce jars too! Don’t go out and buy new ones. These are so worth the effort! Alternatively, you can DIY little shopping bags.
Making changes to your lifestyle to reduce waste doesn’t have to be hard.
You can do it. Start with one change, and implement it for a few weeks. Once it’s become second nature, pick another easy one. Each moment you make a choice to reduce your waste, you are joining with thousands of other people also having a moment of reducing waste. And slowly but surely, the moments will get closer together, the moments will build up, and the moments will make a difference for the future of our earth. Pick one moment in your day today to make a change for the better.
Plus, follow our Eco Friendly and Clean Living board on Pinterest. We’re constantly pinning our own ideas as well as ideas we find all over Pinterest!