With huge looming problems like the Pacific Trash Patch (a collection of litter that’s literally the size of Texas), reducing waste from conveniences like single-use items is an absolute must. While reusing and recycling are great, reducing is a key step that eliminates the need for the last two in the first place!
“Compared to landfilling, recycling is the clear environmental winner. However, waste prevention is even better,” NRDC Senior Resource Specialist Darby Hoover explains.
While things like disposable water bottles and fast fashion can be both cheap and convenient, they have a big impact on the environment. To cut down on the American average of throwing away 4.5 lbs of waste every day, here are some easy lifestyle changes you can adopt.
Find longer lasting alternatives for single-use products
We already know that Styrofoam plates are bad, but what about throwing away your toothbrush every few weeks? Small changes like toothbrushes with replaceable heads, cloth napkins, and keeping reusable cutlery at work are great places to start cutting down on waste.
Ditch plastic grocery bags
Opt instead for a reusable bag that can also double as your go-to tote. If you find yourself needing to use plastic bags, keep them and reuse them for other purposes like as small garbage bags.
Invest in well-made products
Instead of shopping at cheaper stores where we’re not expecting anything to last much longer than a year, buy higher quality items that won’t need to be replaced. If it’s something you won’t use much anyway, thrift or simply borrow it instead!
Try a meal plan
Planning out and positioning meals can cut down on food waste while also setting you up for a healthier lifestyle. Only buy groceries you know you’ll eat to avoid letting things spoil before we can get to them.
Ditch plastic water bottles
This is a super easy one that people hear all the time, but still don’t listen to! Getting a reusable water bottle is easier, better for the environment, helps you stay hydrated, and is more customizable.