Reducing household waste is something we can all do to help combat climate change, and it’s not as difficult as it may first appear. With an estimated 2.12 billion tons of waste dumped around the world each year, it’s crucial that we all make small changes to contribute to the health of our environment.
Waste disposed of in landfill sites releases harmful toxins that damage plant and animal life, as well as contributing to pollution. Plus, when we throw things away unnecessarily, we also waste the energy and resources that went into producing them.
If you’d like to cut down on the amount you throw away, try these three creative ideas for reducing your waste at home.
Host a leftover potluck supper
Food waste is a major contributor to unnecessary carbon emissions because lots of resources go into the manufacturing, storing, packaging and transport of food products. For example, did you know that it takes around 100 buckets of water to make a single loaf of bread?
We can minimise food waste by buying only what we need and getting creative with our leftovers. A fun way to rejuvenate leftover food and use up the odds and ends languishing in the fridge is to host a weekly or fortnightly potluck supper. For this feast, everyone brings a homemade dish made primarily from leftovers. It’s a great way to experiment in the kitchen and develop your culinary skills, and the perfect excuse to socialise. Plus, you can share recipes and ideas while you eat which will further boost your ability to rustle up delicious dishes from leftovers.
If you’re feeling green-fingered, gardening could be a good way to cut down on your waste production. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can reduce the amount of plastic packaging you throw out from buying produce at the grocery store, as well as avoiding the carbon emissions generated from the transport of farmed produce.
You can also recycle lots of biodegradable waste into homemade compost, instead of tossing it into the trash bin. Peels, shells, seeds, husks, scraps, coffee grounds, and even paper towels and cardboard all break down into brilliant compost to feed your garden with.
The demand for new furniture takes its toll on the environment, with an estimated 9 million tons of furniture being disposed of in landfills every year. Cheap, low-quality furniture has become commonplace, but this tends to sustain damage quickly and be tossed after a few short years. It has also become increasingly common to replace furniture frequently due to changing tastes and trends.
If you’re craving a redesign of your home, resist the urge to replace your existing furniture and upcycle it instead. A lick of paint or a fresh coat of varnish can transform tables, chairs, wardrobes, shelving units and cabinets. You could even try your hand at reupholstering a tired sofa or armchair. If your furniture is damaged or has signs of wear and tear, check the internet for instructional videos and articles on how to repair it yourself – you’ll be impressed at how quickly you develop new skills when you put your mind to repairing and upcycling instead of replacing.
Boost your creativity by reducing waste
When we put our minds to reducing our waste output, we’re forced to think outside the box and stretch our creative muscles. You’ll find yourself becoming more and more resourceful once you commit to making the fullest use out of everything in your home, and you’ll be making a huge difference to the world around you.