Waste Not

by Lindsay DurrenbergerJuly 21, 2011

Throughout the day, I try to maintain a pretty environment-friendly lifestyle. I make sure to go to coffee houses that use biodegradable cups. I use air dryers in restrooms instead of paper towels. I even keep a set of dishes at my desk at work so I minimize my trash production. But when I’m at home, all of that seems to change. My trash can fills up quicker than I’d like. So, if you’re like me and would like to be less wasteful at home, check out these easy ways to go green at home.

garbage

Hydrate appropriately.

If you’re anything like me, you like to stay in the shower until all of the hot water runs out. Not only is it therapeutic and comforting, it also prolongs the inevitable ice-cold air that awaits you on the other side of the bathroom door. However, this is one of the ways the majority of us are most wasteful. Try to keep your showers less than 15 minutes. Also, try to avoid using the dishwasher and laundry machine unless they’re completely full.

Paper or plastic? Neither, please.

My husband and I go grocery shopping once a week. Each week, we end up with 15 to 20 plastic grocery bags that we have to throw away. And we are only one household in a world of six billion people! Recently, we acquired some reusable, environment-friendly bags from our local grocery store. Reusable bags cut down on waste tremendously! And, next time you go to grab a roll of paper towels at the grocery store, pick up a packet of washcloths or dish towels instead. Think about how smaller our landfills would be if we ditched plastic bags and unnecessary paper products!

Drink responsibly.

If you go to any local retail store, you can probably find things to help you cut down on drink waste. For drinking water, invest in a tap water filter and buy a metal or thick plastic water bottle that you can reuse. And for coffee, invest in a reusable travel coffee mug that you can bring with you whenever you want to grab some java. In an effort to be greener, most popular coffee houses sell these now. As for your coffee maker at home, try and steer clear of disposable filters. If you make coffee once a day, you’re adding 7 coffee filters to landfills each week, and you’re just one person. Be kinder to the environment by investing in a metal, reusable coffee filter.

There you have it – three easy ways for you to cut down on waste in your home. There are, of course, a myriad of other green initiatives you can take in your own home, but these three are pretty simple ones to get you started. When you put Mother Nature first, she will be oh-so-good back to you. Go ahead, try it out!

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Lindsay Durrenberger

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