What does the phrase “waste not, want not” mean? It means that you should use what you have to avoid wasting it. This is a concept as old as time itself, yet we still struggle to find ways to reduce waste in our everyday lives. In this blog post, I will be discussing 3 different ways to avoid waste and help save money at home and work!
The current state of waste
Whether we like it or not, we are polluting our environment due to waste. The problem with this is that we waste natural resources by not taking better care of our trash.
The environment isn’t the only thing being affected – there’s a growing demand for raw materials and energy to create new products, leading to pollution in mining areas. Worse still, if these wastes enter landfills or leak into waterways, they can produce toxic chemicals!
How big is the issue?
In America alone, it has been calculated that Americans throw away more than $165 billion worth of goods every year. That means about 25% of our total waste goes un-recycled. When you break down what people discard annually, each person throws out around 250 pounds worth of junk every year (just over 50 kilograms)!
Worldwide, the stats are also staggering: around a third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. The world population has more than doubled since 1960, but the amount of food we produce and consume hasn’t increased at the same rate.
On top of all these issues, we have to also deal with: Landfills!
Landfill waste can be found in several different categories: paper, plastics, aluminum cans, glass bottles & jars, etc. Landfill sites are expensive to operate, so they’re often located on cheap agricultural or industrial land that’s easy to access by road rather than near urban centers where most people live – also bad news for recycling as it would mean extra transport time and resources used.
The average landfill will take about 20-30 years before it turns into inert soil again (when no hazardous gases leak out), but in some cases, it can take up to 500 years.
In other words, there’s a lot of money and time invested into getting rid of our rubbish that doesn’t get recycled or taken care of properly!
Waste is a huge problem, and it’s important to take proactive steps before the problems worsen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an individual or part of a company – if we all do our best to avoid waste overall, then everyone can reap the benefits!
The first step in avoiding waste is reducing your consumption. This means buying less stuff that isn’t needed, recycling what you already have on hand, reusing items wherever possible, and donating anything good quality but unwanted to someone else who will use it instead. These are some ways people try to live with less:
-Buying in bulk, so they buy things only when necessary
-Reducing their meat intake by eating vegetarian dishes more often
-Cutting down on the amount of stuff they buy
-Reusing cloth bags for shopping and using canvas totes or baskets in the house instead of plastic baggies.
Next, we should also follow the 3Rs of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Let’s look at each component in detail and why they help contribute to lesser waste.
The first way that you can avoid waste is by reducing it. To reduce in your home might be the amount of food and water you put out for pets each day. Pet owners should provide their furry friends with enough to eat but not so much that it goes bad before they have a chance to consume it all.
Beyond just giving them too many snacks, some pet owners tend to fill up bowls or dishpans with food and water, creating more than necessary waste each week. To help save on resources like this, try using dishes rather than leaving things sitting out!
Another way to reduce waste is to keep your office space clean. You might not think that a small desk leaves out a lot of waste, but after you have cleaned it off, all the old paperwork and trash just lying around can contribute to tons of more garbage each week.
Reduce waste at home too. You can use reusable items in the kitchen to avoid throwing more plastic utensils and straws in the trash. Instead of using paper towels, try washing them off with water or vinegar, then reuse them. You can also opt to use a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand, which saves water in the long run.
The second way to avoid waste is by reusing items. One item that you might reuse around the house or office is your coffee cup. Did you know that disposable cups are one of the most common disposables and, as a result, create more than 25 million pounds of landfill each year?
If you don’t want to contribute to this statistic yourself, try bringing in your own reusable mug for coffee breaks at work! It’s also not a bad idea if it has some company branding on it, so people always remember where they got their caffeine fix from!
You can also reuse other items like Ziploc bags or paper towels. If there are leftovers, you can store them in Ziploc bags for the following day’s meal.
If your clothes get stained from food or drink at a party, don’t throw the shirt out! Just grab some paper towels and soak up as much of the liquid as possible before washing it. This will help save water usage too.
All we need is our creative brains, and we can reuse many things.
Lastly, you can reduce resource consumption by recycling any materials that may still be useful. Some things we tend to recycle are aluminum, plastic bottles, and paper.
The paper should be recycled unless it is an important document or a drawing. Paper can be turned into new paper products such as notebooks, folders, poster boards, etc.
To recycle plastic bottles, you can bring them back to the store to refund or buy new ones. Alternatively, you can reuse these bottles by turning them into art or store non-food items.
In the end, waste management can be done if we are creative enough to look at each waste and think, “How can we reduce, reuse or recycle this item?” I’m sure we can do our part to help the environment.