Good things come in 8’s! Let’s dig in to the 8 R’s behind low waste living.
None of us are perfect! But we can each take time to think about small (or big) ways we can adjust our lifestyles to be more sustainable. Every person can make a difference.
Just say no! Consider sustainability when making choices in your daily life. Maybe decline the plastic straw, say no to the extra plastic bag, when shopping select the things with the least amount of plastic packaging possible.
Buy less, especially less plastic! Look for alternatives to high waste items that are currently part of your routine. Select brands that have policies for sustainable production.
REUSE / REFILL
Get in the habit of carrying your stainless steel water bottle, travel coffee mug, and reusable produce bags. Visit your local Refill Shop (Right On!) to stock up on items in bulk instead of buying individually packaged items - and bring your own refillable containers / bags. Remember, plastic is not “single use” if you use it more than once!
Before discarding, consider repairing. Some items can be fixed quickly with quick online tutorials and I promise you will be super proud when you DIY! If you are not interested in repairing an item yourself, you can always post it on nextdoor.com or the Buy Nothing website for your city. Someone is sure to want to take it off your hands.
So many household items that are typically thrown away can be upcycled and used in other ways. Old clothing can be used for rags, different plastic containers can be used for paint or art supply sorting, toilet paper tubes can be used to start seeds for planting later outdoors. Before you throw it away, think about whether you can give the item a second life with another creative use. Just google it, I guarantee someone has come up with a fun project using exactly the thing you were going to toss out.
If you cannot find another use for an item and it is recyclable, follow your local city regulations to recycle it. Just remember, many items that are listed as recyclable typically do not actually get recycled into anything because of associated costs or lack of demand for products made from that material. For hard to recycle items, consider using a service like Terracyle
Composting is cool! And we are so lucky to live in a place where for the most part our public services provide us with a pick up service for our compost. For that to be effective, be sure you are sorting your waste correctly between trash, compost and recycle and teaching your kids the basics as well. If you have a garden you can also invest in your own compost bin or worm bin. And if that is too ambitious you can always just save your egg shells and put the crushed up pieces into your tomato plant soil. Learn more about at home composting HERE.