Back To School: 9 Tips To Reduce Household Waste

August 23, 2022

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When it's time to say goodbye to the summer, some people are filled with many emotions. Firstly, because it’s time to say goodbye to warm sunny days filled with clear blue skies, and secondly, the end of summer also signifies the beginning of another school year. Back-to-school season is extremely busy, with parents and children hunting down all the supplies they need for the year. Many people toss out old bags to make way for the newest trends, clearing out wardrobes to ensure they have enough new pieces to get through the next school year. In all this, tons of waste is generated that can affect our entire environment. As the new school year approaches, here are some simple ways to manage household waste and generally to make life more eco-friendly

  1. Use recycled materials

Whether it's for your children's school supplies or your home office, there are many benefits to purchasing recycled materials. Some of these include recyclable folders, paper, and notebooks. For your little students, you can encourage them to purchase used books or to rent books as and when they need them to reduce their purchasing costs and also save paper. Luckily for many, textbooks and books can now be found all over the internet; you can go paperless if you desire. You can click here to find out more about dumpsters, and how to make use of them for efficient waste management. 

  1. Buy only what you need

This applies not just to school supplies but household supplies integral. A way to reduce household waste is to purchase things you need, not anything you want. To easily identify your needs, you'll need to take stock of what's currently in the house. If you already have bags and clothes that aren't damaged beyond repair, consider reusing them for an extended period. For the children, encourage them to reuse their lunch boxes and backpacks and any other school supplies you might have around the house. The simple act of practicing conservatively reduces your consumption of goods and the unnecessary production of household waste. 

  1. Eco-friendly clothing

When shopping for clothes for your family, whether for school or home, you need to reduce how much waste you produce. To do this, it’s advisable to consider second-hand clothing that is still in good condition. These are generally more affordable and are also one-friendlier options. Children grow fast and constantly outgrow clothes purchased from them. To ensure that their clothes continue to fit, you could vest in a mix of clothing pieces that are designed and made to last. As much as possible, ignore the stylish yet low-quality enticement of fast fashion pieces, as they've been designed to fall apart easily within a short time. 

  1. Purchase wisely

There are several recycling plants and systems across the country, but they don't recycle all kinds of things. An item needs to meet certain criteria to make it into a recycling plant. To reduce household waste, you need to be strategic with your purchases, investing only in items that can be recycled or items with less packaging. 

  1. Buy sustainable goods

A trip to the supermarket or grocery store exposes many items and variants of a single item. In a bid to reduce household waste, you have to be vigilant while shopping. Be on the lookout for sustainable goods and invest in these wholeheartedly. Several brands sell eco-friendly versions of groceries, toiletries, and many more thus, they can help your family become more environmentally friendly. A typical example is to purchase reusable cups and bottles, as opposed to disposable bottles and cups. The latter increases the amount of plastic waste in and around our homes, while the former saves money and reduces waste. Having a bottle also helps prevent you from purchasing expensive drinks. 

  1. Use reusable grocery bags for more than groceries

If you're a shopping regular, you already have a reusable grocery bag. Many people forget these bags at home when they go shopping, which leads to a collection of plastic bags at home that are ultimately not friendly to the environment. To ensure you don't forget, place these grocery bags in your car, or place them at the top of your list, so you know when to collect them. 

  1. Compost waste

Studies show that most of our waste can be turned into compost. Instead of putting items such as fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, grass clippings, and scraps in the waste bin, you can compost them in your backyard, with only 3 to 12 months worth of compost waiting time. With this compost, you can grow your garden and save on fertilizer. 

Growing crops in such rich compost ensure an improvement in your overall yields, and since the compost is nutrient-packed, you don't need to invest excessive amounts of time and money into catering for your plants. 

  1. Buy in bulk from the farmers' market

Shopping at the local farmers' market is a typical win for people looking to reduce their household waste. Not only do you get to reduce how much waste you produce, but you also get to support all local farmers and purchase the freshest ingredients to make your meals fantastic. Locally grown foods are generally fresher than their grocery store counterparts. They are sold with less packaging and are the perfect place to buy bulk, provided you have enough containers. 

  1. Reduce your use of paper

If you have a bunch of favorite magazines, consider registering for their digital versions, as these are more affordable and less invasive to the environment. Some grocery stores also offer electronic receipts, which are harder to lose than physical receipts. Digital versions of these items are a great way to reduce your consumption of paper, and encourage others to tap into the paperless economy. To produce paper thousands of trees are cut down every day and this affects the environment in the long run. 

There are several ways to reduce the household waste you and your family produce; all it takes is a little intentionality. From choosing reusable cups and bottles to opting for pre-loved clothes, these are simple, less expensive ways to keep the environment in check while protecting your family from excessive waste production. 

*contributed post*

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