Today, each of us produces an average 590 kg of waste per year! Sorting is clearly not enough. The only viable solution is to generate less. Let’s see how to reduce the volume of our bins easily.
To avoid producing waste, you have to know how to buy the right products and then use them. Here are 10 gestures allowing you to consume more responsibly:- by preserving the resources used for making objects, some of which are not renewable;- by limiting the pollution of water and soil, greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the costs of collection, processing and storage.
1. Use reusable bags or baskets
The lifespan of disposable bags is very short: they are usually thrown after only 20 minutes. When they are abandoned in nature, it’s worse since they are ultra polluting and put 200 years to degrade when they are plastic. 17 billion of single-use plastic bags are consumed every year in Europe, of which 8 billion are abandoned in nature.
In several European countries, stores will no longer be able to offer disposable plastic bags from January 2016. But note that paper alternatives are hardly practical (more fragile and less comfortable).
By using a shopping bag or reusable bag, you can reduce your packaging waste. There are sturdy, pretty, pocket-sided shopping bags to have them ready to use, for shopping’s of the week.
2. Choosing the right packaging
Focus on recyclable and ecological packaging, such as glass (jars) and aluminum cans (canned, coffee cans, etc.) which are recyclable for life. Prefer cardboard (recyclable) to plastic that is not recyclable.
Avoid overpacks (cardboard + plastic inside). For dairy, compotes, etc., prefer large containers to individual. If the composition of your home makes you use individual pots instead, choose the ones not surrounded by cardboard.
For low-perishable foodstuffs (tea, coffee, rice, pasta, flour, sugar, etc.), you should also prefer large packagings.
To keep and transport the children’s snacks, prefer a reusable snack box to individual sachets and other canteens.
3. Buy in bulk and cut
Meat, cooked meat, fish, seafood, cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes but also screws and bolts or some detergents are available in bulk, retail or cutting. This makes it possible to take just the amount you need, to make a few savings while reducing your waste.
For this, you can use your own containers (plastic boxes, reusable paper bags, etc.) to do your shopping. You will quickly take on new habits.
4. Avoid food waste
By buying on a smart way, keeping your food well, by cleverly cooking you can avoid throwing food to save money.
Make a shopping list before you go to the store (by checking your stock), pay attention to the expiration dates at the store as at home, respect the types of storage indicated on the products, cook quantities adapted to the number of Eat at the table, accommodate the leftovers.
By limiting food wastage you are saving on food that has been discarded without being consumed and you are reducing your waste by 20 kg per year. In fact, each Europeans throws on average 7 kg of still packaged food to which we must add another 13 kg of leftover meals, damaged fruits and vegetables, unused bread…
5. Use your own cup in the office instead of disposable cups
Drinking your tea or coffee in a nice cup will increase the enjoyment of your break while reducing your waste. If the machines in your workplace doesn’t have a cup detector, check to see if it can be easily remedied.
6. Make better selections of equipment and gifts
Choosing a durable and repairable furniture or household equipment is an important environmental gesture.
Buying second-hand, renting or borrowing products which serve little is also a good reflex. Many websites now offer the opportunity to find second-hand objects or rent objects for short periods of time.
Also think of dematerialized gifts such as cinema or theatre subscriptions, a stay in lodge… such as things which will not be able to finish in the trash.
7. Making compost
Peelings vegetables, leftover meals, lawn mowing, dead leaves, hedge sizes, etc. can be composted on the ground in the garden or in a special tray. In an apartment, you can use a small indoor compost machine. Some cities even offer special bins that are exchangeable in waste against the result of composting, a quality natural fertilizer. A qualitative compost should be stirred once a month.
By making compost, you can reduce your waste by at least 60 kg per year.
8. Giving, selling instead of throwing
I have at home objects which I no longer have the utility but which are still in good condition so why throw them away? By giving the objects you no longer need but is still in a good condition, you can help your relatives or associations that might need them. By selling them second-hand, I can make a little extra money. By swapping them, I can acquire in exchange other items that I need and that will not cost me anything.
And in addition, by selling or giving the items in good condition that I no longer use, I can reduce my waste by 13 kg a year.
9. Limit paper print-outs
Printed documents get lost easily, must be stored so take up space, and end up costing a lot of paper, ink … In addition they diffuse less well than their electronic counterparts. Print if it’s really indispensable, you will reduce up to 6 kg of your waste per year.
10. Prefer rechargeable batteries
More expensive to buy, rechargeable batteries have a much longer lifespan than their disposable cousins. Rechargeable batteries are beneficial: long term money savings but also time since you no longer need to go to the store to look for new ones when they are discharged. Not to mention they avoid you from rejecting polluting waste.
The best waste is the one that is not produced.