Sometimes getting creative is one of the best ways to live more sustainably in your day to day life. Many times it’s this creative thinking that helps answer the question: “What can I use that I already have on hand to accomplish this task?” There are many sustainable items for sale on the market that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and decrease the amount of waste you produce, but many times being “sustainable” just means using what you already have on hand.
Ever since I started making conscious decisions to reduce the amount of waste that I create on a daily basis, I have found several hacks that help me accomplish tasks and don’t cost me any extra money to do so! So I wanted to share them with you, check out my suggestions below:
Let’s get started...
1. Break down boxes before putting them into the recycle bin.
Most municipalities collect recycle bins on their routes every two weeks, unlike trash that is collected every week. Because of this, that could mean that your recycle bin will fill up quickly if you are in the habit of recycling plastics, cardboard, and metals that you use throughout the week. Unfortunately, this means that people will resort to putting their recyclables in the trash bin when the recycle bin fills up. To avoid this, make sure you break down your boxes prior to putting them in the bin. This will create space for more recyclables to fit in the bin throughout the week.
2. Keep the rubber bands that are used to hold egg cartons together.
Many stores ask their cashiers to put a rubber band around the cartons of eggs that customers purchase when checking out. Instead of throwing these away when you get home, add the rubber bands to the collection you already have in your office (or wherever you keep rubber bands). Over a short period of time, you will have collected a stash of rubber bands. I haven’t bought a single rubber band in this bundle (pictured). In fact, these are the only rubber bands we have in the house. That is now one more thing I will never have to buy from the office supply store for my own personal use.
3. Repurpose disposable grocery store bags.
All stores have disposable bags to hold your groceries when you check out if you don’t bring your own reusable bags. Obviously, using your own reusable bags will create less waste, but what if you forget your bags at home or haven’t gotten around to purchasing your own yet? In that case, try to give these disposable bags a second life. What I mean is, try to find another use for the disposable bags from the grocery store. For example, if you were given paper bags, reuse them to transport or store other items in your house. Another idea could be to keep them for kids crafts. Try to think of ways that you can reuse the disposable bags instead of throwing them straight in the garbage.
4. Turn old sheets or towels into rags.
This tip could be old as time and may be the most obvious, but I felt that I needed to include it. Sheets and towels will eventually wear down and rip. Or maybe your current linens don’t go with your new favorite color scheme. Donating the gently used items to charity is great for giving those items a second life or renewed purpose, but what about the items that are ripped, faded, or worn? Cut them up into rags. These types of rags are perfect for wiping up messes or getting a dirty job done, especially if you don’t want to sacrifice a good washcloth. This also prevents you from using an excessive amount of paper towels to get a job done. Every household needs a chunk of rags readily available.
5. Use disposable paper containers provided by the grocery store.
Some grocery stores, like Whole Foods display their produce in these green containers (pictured). Surprisingly, these containers are so handy and can help you skip the disposable plastic produce bags! If you don’t have reusable muslin bags, grab one of these to store your produce in while you shop. THEN when you get home, use these storage containers in your refrigerator for that same produce to keep things organized. These are particularly useful for items like Garlic cloves or shallots. I have found that these are so nice to use both in the store and at home.
That’s a wrap for now…
I hope you enjoyed this post and keep an eye out for more posts with suggestions like these in the future. I have several more tips I’d love to share with you all!
At the very least, I hope these tips helped to inspire you to look around at the items you use or encounter on a daily basis that could be repurposed to accomplish a task. Plus, everyone loves to save a little money!!! :) So let’s get creative for sustainability and our wallet’s sake! haha
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Until next time,
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