Leaving a carbon footprint is something everyone does, it is almost impossible not to leave one if you own a car, use electricity from a power grid, or purchase any electronics. Everything requires something from this Earth to function but there are ways to cut down on your own carbon footprint and attempting to lead a waste-free life is one of them. Plastics bottles, straws, and cutlery just end up in landfills or in the ocean. With so many alternatives in terms of power sources and reusable items, there are no excuses to not try and cut down on your waste. Here are some easy ways to cut down on waste in your everyday life.
Look At Your Waste
This is the most important step before you even begin to cut down on waste in your life. Look at your reasons for why you want to and then look at your waste itself. Is it a lot of styrofoam takeout containers? Or plastic water bottles that should be recycled but end up in the trash? Give what you buy and what you throw out a critical look.
Now that you have a handle on just what your garbage is comprised of you can begin to make small changes to cut down on the amount of waste you produce. If paper coffee cups are a problem, wake up early, brew your own coffee and place it in a reusable cup for your trip to work. The same can happen with water bottles. Make sure to always have a reusable one on you that is BPA free. Also, examine your beauty products for sustainability. Are the containers biodegradable or even recyclable? If they are not, consider finding alternatives once you have run out.
Donating and Up-Cycling
Clothing swaps have been popular for a long time but take a look at everything else in your house or apartment. Purchasing brand new appliances is often unnecessary when people give away perfectly good washing machines or sell them for reasonable prices. When it comes to buying new furniture there has been a real trend towards upcycling where a table can be refurbished or a couch upholstered. Just ask yourself if you really need something “new.”
Many eateries and those which provide take-out containers are moving away from styrofoam and plastic in favor of paper straws, bamboo utensils, and other materials that break down easily or are compostable. You can also bring your own containers so that no waste is created by you taking your meal with you. Mason jars can be used for fountain pop and glass containers can be given to staff to put your meal in. It might seem weird at first but after a while you will see that your amount of waste has decreased dramatically. It just takes time and some effort on your part!