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Green Living: Reducing Your Waste
|It's more important than ever to be mindful of the environment and use eco-friendly practices to reduce your carbon footprint. Keeping your waste to a minimum and recycling are some of the best ways to help the planet and live green. Read on for some simple ways you can waste less and save more!
Buy only what you need
Over-buying groceries or other items is a huge contributor to excess waste. Filling your fridge with more food than you can eat in a week will only result in wasted money, spoiled food, and more garbage. Make a detailed list of what you need for the week before you go shopping and stick to your list. Avoid multiple trips to the grocery store in a week--this will prevent impulse buys.
Buy in bulk
Buying groceries in bulk saves money and reduces waste--there's less packaging to throw away, which means less carbon footprint left behind! Packaging makes up 30 percent of the weight and 50 percent of trash by volume. Buy non-perishables like paper towels and toilet paper in bulk, and avoid individually wrapped or bottled snacks and drinks. Buy food and beverage items in bulk and portion into reusable containers each day--just make sure you have a large enough family or the item is consumed often enough that you use it up before it expires.
Use reusable containers whenever possible--bring your own bags to the grocery store, your own travel mug to the coffee shop, fill water bottles and tumblers rather than buying bottled water, pack lunches in reusable containers and bags--the list goes on.
Sell or donate unwanted items
Is your closet full of clothes you no longer wear? Bins of junk piling up in your basement and attic? If you decide you want to purge the clutter in your home and get rid of unwanted items, be sure to sell what you can and donate the rest!
Shop at thrift stores
Not everything needs to be purchased new. Thrift stores often have great finds--whether you're looking for a new outfit, piece of furniture, or pair of shoes. Give someone else's trash new life by buying used items!
Bills and other useless paperwork collecting in your trash bin? Cancel all paper bank statements, bills, and catalogues and go strictly online for shopping and banking. If you're a magazine or newspaper subscriber, consider forgoing the physical copies and do your reading electronically instead.
Buy items made from recycled materials
A variety of products are made from recycled materials--paper, clothing, totes, jewellery, and even home furnishings can all be created from recycled items. Supporting companies that produce eco-friendly recycled products is a great way to do your part for the earth!