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Mindful Living: 4 Ways to Create Less Waste in Your Everyday Life

As a society, we are gradually beginning to all realize the importance of reducing the impact of each of our own carbon footprints on the world in which we live. It’s all about saving our limited supply of natural resources and repairing the harm that we have caused to our environment with all of our pollution. Here are four ways that you can create less waste, contributing to the improvement of our planet.

Recycling

It may be one of the most effective ways that you can create less waste. Not only should you be recycling as much as possible, but you should also be purchasing goods made out of recycled materials. Here are a few different things that can be recycled.

  • In-home recycling: You really only need two bins in the kitchen, one for garbage, and one for recycling. And, make sure that the recycled items are clean. It almost defeats the purpose if an entire load of recycling has to be disposed of because it’s dirty.
  • Batteries: They should always be recycled, and never thrown in the garbage. You can find local drop-off locations or battery recycling services to dispose of them properly.
  • Cardboard: If you have a lot of cardboard boxes, there are local recycling centers that will pay you for them, based on their weight. They will also pay for aluminum, copper and other items.
  • Plastic tote bags: They aren’t good for recycling with your in-home items. But, you can return them to many grocery stores where they will be able to recycle them.

Water Usage

Water is another one of those natural resources that needs to be conserved. Think about some of these ways to waste less water.

  • Don’t let the faucet run while you are brushing your teeth.
  • Take more short showers instead of baths.
  • Water your lawn as needed, instead of having an irrigation system set on a timer.
  • Only wash full loads of clothes.
  • Don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full.

You may even want to take it a step further and think about what decisions you make in your everyday life lead to water waste. Support businesses that are doing their part to reduce their water usage. Find local farmers you can trust and who are responsible with their water and land use.

Reduce Emissions

Emissions are primarily the byproducts of exhaust fumes and manufacturing processes. And, fossil fuels are used in the manufacturing process as well as to make the fuel for the engines that emit the exhaust fumes. Reducing the amount of emissions that we are responsible for will waste less of our natural resources. Just like with supporting businesses that reduce water use, support businesses who are making steps to reduce emissions. You can also do your individual part by walking more rather than driving places nearby.

Eliminate Disposables

Unfortunately, even when things are aimed towards recycling, they don’t always make it there. Can you imagine how many plastic water bottles there are out there that never make it to a recycling center? It can be mind-boggling to think about. We really need to strive to stop using disposable items as much as possible, easing the ever-growing burden on our already overfilled landfills. A few ways you can reduce the use of disposable items is by bringing your own cups to coffee shops, buying a reusable water bottle, carrying around your own silver wear, and buying food from the bulk section of your grocery store. These small steps can add up overtime and will help you notice less plastic waste in your garbage.

Working together, we can make it happen. We can reverse the damage that our ancestors have caused. And, reducing how much we waste on a daily basis is a great place to start.

  • Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA

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