We should all make it a goal to be less wasteful.
It is not only a good practice for environmental reasons, but it can also save us money and reduce the “needs” of our daily lives.
Here are 10 very easy things you can do to be less wasteful.
- Reusable Water Bottles – If you are still using plastic water bottles, shame on you! There are so many great refillable water bottles available (I’m a Hydro Flask fanboy) to avoid the need to create plastic waste.
- Avoid Plastic Bags – Whether at a grocery store or a retail store, try to avoid getting plastic bags. Either bring your own bags, or if your purchase is small enough, carry out the item in hand.
- Drive Less – Our love with driving to get everywhere is bad, especially in the United States. Combining trips, walking, or riding a bike, can all drastically reduce the number of miles you drive.
- Don’t Fear The Weather – Also known as, don’t be a wimp with your thermostat. Wear seasonally appropriate clothing and try running your furnace or air conditioner less.
- Buy Stuff That Works – When making purchases, focus on buying quality items that have a long useful life. Buy things for what you need them to do, not for the bells and whistles.
- Give Experience Gifts – Unless you really know that a recipient wants or needs something, try to avoid giving people material gifts. Experience and monetary gifts are a great way to improve peoples lives without adding waste.
- Avoid Excessive Packaging – According to the EPA, containers and packaging make up a majority of municipal waste. Avoiding products with excessive packaging can help cut back on the amount of waste you personally generate.
- Upgrade Less Often – By holding off on upgrades to your goods, be it your cell phone, TV, or a car, you can save money and waste less. And remember, most stuff doesn’t improve much year-to-year.
- Stop Getting Take Out – The fast-food culture is the opposite of simple. Unhealthy foods served in bags, containers, and provided with single-use utensils. Eat good food at home instead.
- Buy Based on Need – Then there is the obvious answer to be less wasteful – simply buy based on need. Even buying the most “green” product that you don’t need is wasteful.
Francesco Turco says
Beside driving less, I would also add flying less, or not at all, especially for unnecessary recreative purposes (holidays). Experiences are not wasteful per se, but if you need to go to the opposite side of the world to experience something, it can become extremely wasteful.
Hey Francesco, thanks for the comment! Yes, air travel is by far one of the worst things people do for the environment.
I’ve personally only flown twice in the last 10 years. I’m a big believer that you can create great experiences almost anywhere.
That said, the international travel I’ve done in the past has really opened me up to new cultures and ways of living. Something that I truly value .