There are a lot of benefits to switching to eco-friendly alternatives. First, it is beneficial to the environment. It lowers pollution and conserves our natural resources. Another benefit is that it can help you save money in the long run.
Curious as to how you can minimize waste at home? Here are eco-friendly alternatives that you can try.
1. Swap tissues for cloth
How much tissue does your household consume in a week? Tissue papers are single-use products that are regularly used for hygienic purposes and household cleaning. Reports show that a household of 4 people typically spends $1200 per year on toilet paper.
You can significantly reduce this amount by using cloth instead. In the kitchen, wipe spills with cloth instead of grabbing single-use paper towels.
When having guests over, consider using cloth table napkins. There are different designs and materials that you can choose from, and it can level up the appearance of your dining table.
As for facial tissue paper, an eco-friendly alternative is a good old handkerchief. It’s practical to use and you can pick designs to match your outfits too.
What’s great about using cloth is that you do not need to buy a whole new set right away. Grab an old shirt that you no longer use and give it a new purpose. There are DIY methods that you can find online such as how to make your own cloth towels.
2. Swap plastic bags for eco-bags
While there are a lot of plastic products that can be recycled, reports show that most of these still end up as waste. Sadly, plastic pollution has harmed a lot of marine life and birds.
To minimize plastic waste, consider using non-woven eco-bags instead of plastic bags. You can do this when buying groceries. These are easily foldable so they are easy to carry anywhere. Then once you are done using the bag, just fold it again to store.
Doing this can save you some cash too because some groceries offer incentives to those who bring their own bags.
3. Swap plastic cutlery for reusable ones
Takeaway food often comes with single-use cutlery. These are very convenient to use because all you need to do is to throw them away after. However, that will mean more waste in our landfills and waterways where billions of these are thrown every year.
Fortunately, you can easily find eco-friendly alternatives to single-use cutlery at your home. Reduce waste by skipping the plastics and taking out your own spoons and forks.
There are also reusable travel sets that you can invest in, so you can easily pack them everywhere you go.
4. Invest in reusable food containers
Reusable food containers such as mason jars look so beautiful in the pantry, that you might never think about going back to plastic food packaging. These can extend food shelf-life which also means less waste and more savings.
You can easily store nuts, cereals, flour, grains, and other loose food items from the market in these containers. They will also look very neat and organized too.
Do you like preparing packed food at home? Swap your disposable sandwich bags to reusable ones. These come in different sizes so you can also store other food items, and just like the single-use type, they can be sealed or re-zipped again.
Aside from sandwich bags, there are eco-friendly reusable lunch boxes that you can also invest in. These come in different materials such as glass, stainless steel, bamboo, and wheat straw. Most of these come in sets with matching cutlery and straw.
5. Use reusable water bottles
Reports show that a huge part of our landfill is filled with bottled water waste. Avoid buying plastic bottled drinking water by investing in reusable water bottles instead. This will significantly reduce waste not just at home but anywhere you go.
Reusable water bottles come in different types. Some are designed to carry water only and resist impact, which is perfect for outdoor activities. Another type is a vacuum insulated tumbler that can keep your drink warm or cold for a few hours.
There is also a type of reusable water bottle that comes with a filter. This is perfect for travel and hiking to ensure that you have access to safe water.
6. Try shampoo bars
Try swapping your bottled shampoo for shampoo bars that come in eco-friendly packaging. That way, you get to reduce plastic waste at home. It’s cost-effective too.
Shampoo bars come in different sizes that can last you many hair washes. They also come in different variants made with natural ingredients to match your hair type.
Solid shampoo is also very convenient to take on out-of-town trips.
7. Turn off the tap
Water is one of the resources that we sometimes take for granted. Who is not guilty of leaving the tap on while brushing your teeth?
Conserve water with the simple step of turning off the tap. It helps reduce your utility costs too. Practice this while applying your shampoo, washing the dishes, washing your car, and the list goes on.
Make sure to repair leaky faucets as well, because that can save you liters of water per day.
8. Switch off what you don’t use
Save money and energy by switching off lights, devices, and appliances that are not in use. Consuming less power is not only budget-friendly, but it also helps the environment specifically by reducing carbon emissions from power stations.
9. Practice FIFO
FIFO stands for “First In, First Out” and it is commonly practiced in restaurants and in stores. How it’s done is that the older food stocks are displayed first while the new ones are placed at the back.
You can also do the same at home when organizing your fridge and pantry. Practice putting your newer grocery items towards the back and the older ones in front where they are easier to see and reach. That way, you minimize food spoilage or waste, and you also get to save some cash too.
10. Be mindful of how you use single-use
While some might say that there is no excuse for single-use, one of the best ways to start switching to eco-friendly alternatives is to practice mindfulness. Observe how you use and dispose of single-use products and our natural resources. See how much it costs you by adding up your daily, weekly, and yearly expenses.