Resolution: How to Waste Less


Any step toward reducing waste is a step in the right direction. - @PASA / FLICKR
  • @pasa / Flickr
  • Any step toward reducing waste is a step in the right direction.

Welcome to the Riverfront Times’ Five Days of Resolutions. Start living right.

Living in a house with more than one other person, it’s easy for the trash to pile up. If you’re anything like me, by the time trash day is there, the can is filled to the brim. Finding ways to waste less not only helps the environment — it can make life a whole lot more simple. It helps prevent running out of things, too.

Too many times, I’ve gone to get a roll of Saran wrap that wasn’t there. Using beeswax wraps could have prevented so many of those headaches. Beeswax wraps do the same things Saran wrap does, but you can wash and reuse them. They cost more up front — you can find a pack of three from Bee’s Wrap for about $15, compared to $5-$6 for 100 square feet of Saran wrap — but it saves money in the long run and helps the environment.

Reusable bottles are another way to save money while being mindful of waste. There’s no need to go all out and get a $40 Hydro Flask. Discount options do the same thing.

In a guide to students, Harvard University notes that bottled water is “about 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water” and that 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as trash. Landfills account for 17 percent of the United States’ methane gas emissions. Buying reusable water bottles and actually using them reduces the amount of plastic water bottles going into landfills.

Along with reusable water bottles, reusable straws and reusable deodorant containers can also help reduce waste. A pack of silicone straws will last a lot longer, and be significantly more durable, than the plastic single-use ones that break easily. Buying everyday items in bulk can eliminate a lot of plastic packaging that comes with buying smaller quantities. It’s best to stick to things like toilet paper, paper towels or nonperishable food products that get eaten regularly so produce doesn’t go bad before you can use it.

Any step toward reducing waste, even considering how what you consume impacts the environment, is a step in the right direction.
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