Tips For Creating Less Trash

Awhile back, I discovered a video on Youtube of a woman by the name of Lauren Singer who has amazingly created only half of a mason jars worth of trash in the past two years. My jaw dropped. I was honestly amazed that half of ONE mason jar contained two years-worth of trash. She then went on the explain how exactly she did it and I was pretty impressed and even a little inspired. I thought back to myself and how I usually have to take out the trash once a week. I felt like I could be doing more for the environment. I mean come on, I make blog tips on minimalism and tips for going greener... I could at least start creating less trash. I thought I'd come up with a list of tips you to do that as well.

Go paperless: Although you can recycle paper, I feel like it is still better to go paperless all together for certain aspects of life. For instance, pay your bills online and read newspapers/magazines online. Paying bills online is SO much more simple -- plus you can save money on stamps. Jot down notes in your phone app Notes rather than on paper. Another great way is to eliminate your junk mail. Most people don't look at their junk mail anyway. Along the lines of going paperless - use your own bags at the grocery store. This is something I personally need to work on as I'm always forgetting to bring my own, but it's a great thing to do. Those plastic bags at grocery stores are so harmful to the planet and a lot of recycling centers don't take them. I'm not going to get too much into it, but you can read more on the harmful effects of plastic bags by clicking here. If anything, request paper bags.

Always, Always, ALWAYS recycle: This is probably the most common known way for creating less trash, but some people out there still don't understand the importance of recycling. Cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, etc. Just recycle, people. You can get bins for sorting out your recyclables, or if you're like me, you can just use some cardboard boxes instead. It's a bit of an eyesore, but it does the job. If you do have a bunch of plastic bags from stores, call your local recycling center and see if they take those for recycling. Some places do, some don't, so it's a matter of calling around the find a place that does.

Compost: There are so many good reasons to compost... Saving money, saving resources, creating less trash, the list goes on. Throwing away food scraps/grass clippings/fallen leaves is just silly when you can just compost it. Yard and food waste make up about 30% of the waste stream. Composting helps to divert that from landfill. You can read more on composting here.

Shop smart: By shopping smart, I mean a few different things. First things first: buy in bulk if possible. Less packaging, more product - which also means less trips to the store. Avoid buying items that are packaged individually. Farmers markets are always a great place if you're looking for fresh produce or bread because they typically aren't packaged up in plastic - plus it's always great to support your local farmers. Another way to shop smart is to just shop less.

Reuse: Paper towels have officially become a pet peeve of mine. Why? You use them once and throw them away. They can't be recycled and can only be used once. I just think it's stupid. Sure it's convenient. But really? Same goes for paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils. The more you use reusable items, the more you're doing for the planet. Thrift shop more. I'm starting to really believe in thrifting most of what you need more and more -- from a style, financial, and environmental perspective.

There are so many more ways to create less trash but I decided to go only over the basics for now. Simple, little practices I think everyone should follow. There are so many more ways you can create even less trash, like, for instance, making your own laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste and so much more. I really haven't made it that far but it's always something to look into. Check out Lauren's Youtube channel where she shares bits of her own advice with you for creating less trash by clicking here.

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