5 Simple Tips To Save Money While Reducing Waste
Check out these smart tips to save money while reducing waste.
This post was written by Emily Folk, the creator of Conservation Folks.
If you've resolved to reduce waste this year, good for you! Only 34 percent of eligible materials actually get recycled, so reducing waste in your shopping choices and habits is another powerful way (in addition to recycling) to reduce your overall waste footprint. It’s also a smart way to save some money and improve quality of life!
Follow these tips to save money while reducing waste this year!
1. Shop Small
Has cleaning out your refrigerator become a weekly event? While nearly everyone knows impulse buying at the grocery store can lead to waste, so can many of our best intentions. Filling our grocery baskets with too much food for a week (or more) worth of meals can often lead to tossing many of our purchases in the rubbish bin.
Some small changes in shopping habits can help: If you can, stop by the grocer's more often and buy for only the next two to three days worth of meals. That way, should an irresistible craving for pizza strike — instead of the pot roast you planned for dinner — you can go ahead and cave to it without fear of your planned meal going bad by the time you get around to preparing it.
2. Bag It Up
You've doubtless heard this before, but by all means take your own reusable cloth bags when you go on a shopping excursion. Bonus: Reusable bags offer greater strength than either paper or plastic bags, so the chance of your just-bought jar of pasta sauce breaking through the bag and shattering on the ground decreases dramatically.
3. Make Like A TV Chef
Contestants on the hit Food Network show Chopped use creativity to combine four crazy ingredients into a gourmet dish. But, you don't need to be Gordon Ramsay to have some fun in the kitchen as you challenge yourself to use leftovers in exciting new ways!
Did you only eat half of that taco platter? While the shells become soft and inedible, scoop out the middle and use the meat, cheese, and tomatoes to top a delightful southwest salad. Everyone knows that leftover fries taste icky, but with the help of a blender or food processor and some milk, you can blend those mushy fries into creamy "mashed" potatoes!
4. Snag A Coffee Discount
If you, like nearly everyone, have developed a daily coffee-shop habit, you can cut your carbon footprint and reduce waste by investing in a reusable coffee mug. In addition to cutting waste and saving energy, you'll save a few pennies as well, as many coffee shops reward with a discount those who bring reusable cups.
5. Compost Food Scraps
Finally, instead of tossing that brown lettuce or those moldy carrots in the garbage to end up as landfill fodder, compost them! Composting helps gardens of any size grow by adding valuable nutrients to the soil.
Educate yourself as to what you can compost. In general, all vegetables make for fine compost, as do egg shells, tea bags, and coffee filters. Avoid composting animal waste as well as any meat or fish scraps.
Likewise, be sure to peel the stickers off your discarded fruits and veggies as those little buggers are not biodegradable.
Everyone shares responsibility for keeping our earth clean. And doing our part to reduce waste has benefits both immediate and long lasting. By becoming more conscientious about what we use and discard, we can actually live better, while helping keep our world clean for generations to come!
Share your other smart, waste-reducing, money-saving tips in the comments below!
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