Our global waste production skyrocketed since the industrial revolution period. People are able to consume large amounts of material goods since due to mass production, they have become quite cheap.
However, this excessive consumption behavior also leads to excessive levels of waste, which in turn causes many environmental problems. Thus, it is crucial that everyone of us reduces his or her waste and improves waste management processes at home.
In this article, several tips and tricks on how you can make your waste management at home more efficient are examined.
A rather obvious but still not fully adapted way to improve waste management at home is to separate your waste in an efficient manner. Many people still only use one garbage bin where they collect all of their waste.
However, mixing several waste types is a significant problem since it makes recycling quite hard. Therefore, without separation of waste, precious resources may be wasted.
Moreover, if toxic waste is disposed into the normal garbage, this could lead to serious level of soil and water pollution since these toxic items may end up in landfills rather than in special treatment facilities.
Thus, whenever you produce waste, try to separate it as good as possible so that recycling can be done in an efficient manner and your ecological footprint can be improved due to that.
Another efficient measure to improve your eco-footprint is to repair your things rather than to buy new ones. As a society, we often tend to dispose our used items pretty soon, even if they only have minor issues.
Rather than to dispose these items, try to repair them! In our nowadays world, repairing things is pretty easy since we have numerous free videos online on how to repair things of your daily life.
Therefore, the next time one of your material things get damaged, try to fix it rather than to dispose it in order to save precious natural resources and to avoid waste production at the same time.
You should also try to reuse your old things. For instance, if you have family members or friends who do not want to use old but still working items anymore, ask them if you can have them in order to reuse those items.
Conversely, if you have old things you don’t use anymore, offer them to family or friends who may be happy to reuse those items.
If no one wants to have your old items, at least make sure that you separate your waste properly in order to make recycling processes as efficient as possible.
In order to reduce waste, don’t use single-use batteries. Instead, use rechargeable batteries which can be used several times in order to save our natural resources and to fight resource depletion.
Moreover, batteries often contain elements that can be quite toxic for our environmental system. Thus, make sure that you dispose them according to your local waste disposal regulations and do not dispose them in the household garbage!
If you have a garden, an optimal way to deal with your organic household waste would be to create a compost site. Compost sites are quite convenient since you can dispose all of your vegetable and fruit waste there. After a while, this kind of waste will be fully decomposed by microorganisms and your waste will vanish in an entirely natural way.
Making things even better, you can use the end product from the composting process as a natural fertilizer for your plants in your garden. By doing so, you do not have to use conventional fertilizers, as they often contain harmful chemicals which in turn can lead to soil and water pollution.
Instead, you have plenty of natural fertilizer from your compost site all year long. Thus, you can not only improve your ecological footprint by using this kind of natural fertilizer, but can also save significant amounts of money in the long run.
The use of bottled water is still quite common in many countries around the world. However, especially the use of plastic bottled water is a quite big environmental issue since it implies the production of excessive levels of unnecessary plastic waste.
In many regions, there is even no need to use bottled water since the tap water quality is excellent. If you live in one of those regions, use tap water instead of bottled water in order to reduce your waste production.
If you live in a region which has bad tap water quality, at least rely on glass bottles rather than on plastic bottles for your water in order to behave more environmentally-friendly.
In order to reduce paper waste, it is also crucial that you switch from physical printing to electronic media instead. In our current times, in most cases, there is no need to print on paper anymore.
Electronic media, like the use of smartphones, makes it even easier and more convenient for you compared to printouts, since you do not have to carry your printouts with you.
Instead, you only have a small pocket device which is as powerful as the computer Ronald Reagan when he was president.
Thus, the next time you consider to buy a book, use the ebook version instead of the paper version in order to reduce your ecological footprint and to save our natural resources.
Conventional food stores often use excessive amounts of packaging and wrapping, which in turn leads to large amounts of unnecessary waste. Instead of buying from conventional food stores, try to get your food from organic food stores instead.
Many of those organic food stores offer you the possibility to bring your own glass jar so you often do not need any packaging at all. Therefore, by doing so, you can save plenty of waste and resources.
In general, try to use reusable containers as often as possible. You can use these reusable containers for many times instead of using disposable containers which will often end up in the trash bin after just a single use.
To improve your ecological footprint even further, use reusable containers made out of metals or glass instead of plastic ones. By doing so, you can reduce the production of plastic waste.
Moreover, you may also be able to improve your health, since plastic is often associated with unhealthy components which could contaminate your food under certain circumstances.
On a global scale, especially in the rich Western world, enormous amounts of food are wasted every day, while many people suffer from starvation at the same time. Thus, in order to avoid this kind of unnecessary food waste, you should start to use a meal plan.
By doing so, you know exactly what you have to buy every day or week. You also save yourself from buying too much food which may end up in the trash bin.
Using this meal plan on your smartphone instead of paper would further improve your eco-footprint since you would also save paper.
The production of plastic waste is one of our biggest environmental problems which we have to fight as humanity.
Plastic waste not only ends up in our ocean and leads to significant water pollution, it also contributes to global warming since a big fraction of plastic waste is burned, which leads to the emission of harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
You can avoid plastic waste in many occasions in your daily life. For instance, don’t by material things that are made out of plastic or also wrapped in excessive amounts of plastic whenever possible.
Moreover, make sure to avoid disposable plastic cups at work. Since it is estimated that on a global scale, around 500 billion disposable cups are used every year, you can imagine the plastic pollution problem that results from the use of those disposable cups.
If you don’t need your old things anymore and no one of your family members or friends want to use them, donate those things instead of disposing them in the garbage bin in case they are still working.
You would be surprised how happy poor people often are to use old things since they often significantly improve the living conditions of those people.
Thus, you should ask yourself if your old belongings can be of any use to other people. If this is the case, you should donate your old stuff instead of disposing it in the trash bin.
In order to make your waste management processes even more efficient, try to reuse your old cardboard boxes to store things instead of disposing them into the garbage. By doing so, you don’t have to buy storage containers, which in turn lead to additional waste.
Instead, you can use your old cardboard boxes to store many different kinds of items of your daily life. Cardboard boxes also have the advantage that they are usually quite stable and you can store plenty of materials in it.
In order to improve your ecological footprint even further, try to avoid disposable plates and cutlery and use reusable versions instead to save plastic waste. In case you urgently need disposable cutlery and plates, at least make sure to use biodegradable versions instead of plastic ones to reduce the negative impact on our environment.
In general, you should try to reduce your waste production in every part of your daily life whenever possible. Waste is quite harmful to our environmental system since the burning of waste leads to significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, the waste that ends up in landfills can lead to soil pollution and also to groundwater pollution. Making things worse, waste production in general implies the depletion of our natural resources.
Thus, make sure to reduce your waste production in your daily life. There are numerous ways to do so. Just ask yourself what impact your behavior has on our environment.
This will be enough to determine if your waste production behavior is sustainable or if you should make changes in order to improve your ecological footprint.
Also the use of conventional detergents can be quite harmful to our planet since conventional detergents often contain harmful chemicals.
Instead of using conventional detergents, try to use eco-friendly versions to reduce chemical waste products and to make your cleaning behavior greener.
There are even some companies which specialized to produce eco-friendly detergents. You can simply order those eco-friendly detergents online.
When you go shopping, try to bring your own reusable fabric bag instead of disposable ones. By doing so, you can reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce to a significant extent.
Moreover, you can also save a bit of money since in many countries, plastic bags are no longer free. This is a good signal of regulators since it may prevent many people to use disposable plastic bags.
However, it should be considered to raise prices for plastic bags even further in order to give people an even bigger incentive to bring their own bags instead.
Depending on the country or the local regulations, there may be significant differences on how local municipalities collect and separate waste. In order to make sure that you separate and recycle your waste in the most efficient manner, ask your local authorities on the common waste management practices so that you can be sure to comply with those rules.
Even though most of the household waste is rather harmless, a certain fraction may contain harmful chemicals and other components that could hurt our environment if not disposed properly.
For instance, waste from batteries or electronics often contain heavy metals that can be quite harmful to our environmental system. Thus, make sure that you dispose those hazardous waste items in a proper manner.
Many people are still not aware on how important a proper waste management at home really is to protect our environment and therefore to ensure a livable future for the next generations.
Thus, it would be quite helpful if you convince your family and friends about the importance of waste management. We as humans are heavily influenced by the people around us. Therefore, if you make a positive example, the people around you are likely to follow.
There are several ways how you can improve your waste management at home. While many of them are quite simple, some require a little bit more effort.
However, always keep in mind that we are talking about a quite important topic. Saving our planet should be worth taking some efforts, shouldn’t it?!
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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