4Rs Tips for 4.29.2022 – Let’s Transform to a Reusable Lifestyle
How a Reusable Mindset Can Save the Planet
Living in harmony with the earth means stopping the one-way street of our waste and building a reusable mindset. A lot of the responsibility for making this happen falls on companies that make goods and the packaging that goes with them. But people need to do their part to buy the goods that are responsibly made and reuse as much as they can. If we take a serious look at our reusable habits we are likely to get better at it.
140 million tons of waste are sent to landfills each year in the US alone. In many countries, people produce nearly 5 pounds of trash per person a day. We have to find ways to reuse it. We need to work on the circularity of our waste.
People create nearly 5 pounds of garbage PER DAY!
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What Can We Do To Change the One-Way Direction of Waste
Thinking about our actions can make all the difference. Here are some simple things we can do in our everyday lives to reuse what we have.
- Skip or reduce disposable food storage. Reuse sandwich and zip baggies or buy reusable.
- Buy reusable water bottles and beverage containers.
- Shop for used products. A great way to eliminate packaging, support circularity, and boost your local economy.
- Buy local, non-packaged produce – find and visit your local farmer’s market.
- Buy products with less packaging and only buy what you need and will use especially food.
- Buy in bulk the items you use a lot, like toilet paper and canned goods.
- Learn composting, a great reuse of organic waste.
- Make sure you recycle correctly. If the wrong stuff goes in the bin items are less likely to get recycled in your bin and the bin it gets dump into.
Reusable food and beverage containers can put a big dent in our waste
Food storage – I’ve been excited about reusable zip bags for food storage since I saw them at a friend’s house. I haven’t bought any yet because I’ve been reusing the disposable ones I purchased about a year ago. Most times I use them they are clean enough to be washed, dried, and shoved back into the box they came in for the next time. Only when they get really messy do I throw them out.
Here are some places to buy reusable food storage bags and containers:
- Russbe is the brand I first saw in action. The company makes waste-free lunch and food storage containers.
- Grove Collaborative sells planet-friendly products, including reusable bags in a variety of sizes and food storage containers.
- Stasher Bag offers both reusable bags and containers, and they donate 1% for the planet.
- Vejibags from Food52 are a great way to store produce and keep it fresh. You can also use them for shopping and skip the plastic produce bags.
Reusable beverage containers – There are two types of beverages we tend to drink on the go that can create a lot of waste, coffee/tea to-go cups, and water bottles. It’s not hard to reduce our use of disposable containers that often contain these beverages. Here are some ways to do that.
- Get your own hot cup for your morning caffeine – there are so many cool types I’m not going to try and list any. You can buy them online or at your favorite coffee shop.
- Get a reusable water bottle. The healthiest water you can drink is filtered to remove chemicals and other contaminants. Bottled water doesn’t always provide that. You can get filtered water delivered, or buy something like a Brita pitcher for your refrigerator. If you have a frig with water and ice built into the door, make sure you change the water filter regularly.
Shop used goods and buy locally to reduce your impact and support your local economy
- Buying from local businesses is always better for the economy. It contributes to saving the planet and improves your community.
- Buying used items from a neighbor’s yard sale or local thrift store eliminates packaging, and supports your local economy, and many stores like Goodwill support people who are struggling, disabled, or down on their luck.
Save money and the planet with eco-friendly food buying habits
Only buy what you know you will eat before it goes bad. This can be challenging, especially if you’re single and can’t always buy small quantities. Some tricks to not wasting food are:
- Shop your local farmer’s market whenever you can. Local farmers often grow organically, are happy to let you use your own bag or container, and work with you on quantities. You also avoid excess emissions from transporting your food to a grocery store, often from far away.
- Buy non-packaged produce where you can usually choose the quantity and size you want.
- Store produce in containers that keep it fresh. Reusable cotton bags, like Vejibags from Food52, can keep your veggies fresh and crisp longer.
- Buy in bulk items you eat or use a lot. This reduces your packaging footprint.
Composting will make a huge difference to our planet
Nearly 30% of waste in landfills is organic. This is mostly food waste which emits methane, a greenhouse gas, as food decomposes in landfills.
Composting can be a lot easier nowadays, depending on where you live. I live in an apartment so it’s not something I could easily do. But if you are able to, check out these online resources to learn how. If you are able and willing to learn how to start composting, check out this handy guide from NRDC – Composting 101.
Follow your recycling rules so your waste has a better chance of getting reused
Make sure you know what does and does not go in your recycling bin. Check your local government or service provider’s website. Follow the basic rules of recycling.
- No plastic bags or small plastics, like loose caps – put that cap back on the container.
- No food waste on anything you put in your bin – it will cause everything in your bin to be sent to a landfill.
- Know for sure what plastics your service takes and throw out or reuse the rest.
These are just a few of the tips you can learn in this article from EarthDay.org – END PLASTIC POLLUTION: 7 TIPS TO RECYCLE BETTER
Practice a zero-waste mindset in everything you do
It could make a big difference. I like getting the Going Zero Waste newsletters that always have great tips. I find there is always more to learn.
Check out this The Ultimate Sustainable Shopping Guide: How To Find Eco-Friendly Products from Zulily.com. There are so many great tips and resources online.
Why It’s Important
You’re smart. You’re reading this blog, after all. So I honestly don’t think I need to explain to you why we need to stop filling the earth with our waste.
What I think is really cool is that humans have the ability to fix this. It’s not something that’s up for debate. There are those that will say climate change is natural; the climate will always be changing. But there is no logical explanation for filling the earth, our source of life, with chemicals and damaging waste that harms the planet and all living things on it, including humans. It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t believe in global warming, our one-way system of waste is illogical.
Ways You Can Make A Difference This Year
Check out these 52 ways to celebrate our earth and make a difference from Earth Day.org
Do something fun this spring, sign-up for a Clean-Up Event. They’re not just for Earth Day! Check the map and search by the dates you have available. Then save the link and look for ongoing ways to help clean up your community. You may find a local organization you want to join and support.
With Much Gratitude
That’s it for this week. If you like this post, please forward it to every earth-friendly human you know.
Drop me a line anytime if you have questions or comments. I love hearing from you.
I do not get paid to write this blog, none of the products I recommend sponsor me, so any support you can send my way would help, even a few bucks.
Thank you for reading these tips and subscribing. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part. Remember, every little bit helps.
You got this!