Parenting

7 easy ways to reduce your waste as a family

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Steals.com, but all thoughts and opinions in this article are honest and my own. 


 

  1. Reusable containers while on the go
    You can use items you have around the house (like mason jars) to bring your lunch or snack on the go, or you can buy fun containers like this awesome zip up snack pouch from Steals.com that we now use. Other reusable on-the-go food ideas are thermoses, water bottles, bento boxes, and don’t forget the flatware!

2. Reusable items at home
Most of you already do this one, but using real dishes instead of paper plates cuts back on a ton of waste. Hand soap dispensers can be purchased and refilled making less waste than the tossaway plastic dispensers, or you could go all out and switch to bar soap. Once you’ve mastered the easy swap-outs, consider using cloth napkins, and dishtowels or kitchen rags instead of paper towels.

3. Homemade meals
I love a good take out or trip to a restaurant just as much (or perhaps more) than anyone, but there is no doubt that eating at home cuts back on waste  both in terms of trash, and financially. If you are terrible at cooking start small, learn one or two VERY BASIC recipes (e.g. not your Grandmother’s super delicious lasagna that takes four hours to make) and then add more recipes to your repertoire once you have mastered some easy weeknight meals.

When you make a meal at home, don’t toss the leftovers… save them for lunch the next day! Once you’ve gotten the hang of cooking consider starting your own garden, or a compost pile to keep food waste minimal.

Not the most zero-waste meal I have ever made, but we’re taking baby steps, and I’m pregnant! This awesome apron is another great Steals.com find

4. Say no to plastic bags when you don’t need them
We generally try to use reusable bags, but there are times when I just don’t have them with me or when I actually feel like keeping some plastic grocery bags around the house (like for wet bathing suits, or doggie poo bags). Yes there may be more eco-friendly options, but sometimes you just want the plastic. Anyways my point is… even if you do SOMETIMES take plastic bags, it doesn’t mean you need to take them all the time.

Buy one item at the drug store? Try putting it in your purse instead of a bag. You can bring reusable bags when clothes shopping too, or get one bag and put your purchases from other stores in it.

5. Shop used when you can
We all have our threshold / comfort level when it comes to which items we are willing to buy used, but it can make a big difference in terms of items not ending up in the trash or a landfill. I found some great buys on local “mom swap” sites through Facebook, but there are also good old fashioned thrift stores in most areas. When you’re done with an item that someone else may be able to use, try to sell or donate it before putting it in the trash. The Vietnam Veteran’s of America, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Salvation Army, and other organizations are often willing to pick up decent quality used items from your house too.

6. Shop local
The benefits of the “locovore” movement don’t only apply to food. Can you purchase an item from a local artisan instead of a big box store that has shipped it from overseas? Local shops may seem to cost more, but often you are paying for a good quality item that will last you longer than something made overseas designed to be used for one season and tossed.

7. Buy in bulk
Surprisingly, you can buy in bulk even if you don’t have a giant pantry to store huge bags of rice and beans. Check your local grocery store for “bulk” sections, and bring your own containers! They have more than just trail mix in those bins, you can get lots of dried goods, fruits, candy, and more that way. When you do have the space for storage, consider buying other items in bulk. An extra freezer can really help too, I have friends who are able to buy a half or quarter of a cow from local farmers (grass fed beef!) at amazing prices too, all because they have the freezer space for it. But even if you don’t have a chest freezer for a side of beef, you can fill a reusable cannister with pasta instead of buying boxes of it.


More about Steals.com:

I had a great experience with every aspect of purchasing items through this site, and working with the brand. The site is split into Baby, Kids, Scrap, and She and each individual Steals site has a new deal each day.

Most of the items were things I actually use, like clothes, reusable containers, shoes, and more at great prices. I ran into one problem with an item not being delivered and the customer service team was very quick to respond and accomodating, they even gave me a few extra steals points for my trouble.

I especially loved that they had a good mix of what seemed like smaller / stay at home mom brands, and big name brands on the site. If you want to check them out, here’s the link!

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Kara Bout It