From debating politicians, to striking students, it’s hard to miss the headlines about the impact of climate change.
By: Leah Callaghan
While most of us don’t have political sway, the good news is that there are still plenty of ways to reduce your own carbon footprint and help the planet at home. If we all work to make small changes, it can collectively make a huge impact!
We’ve put together some easy and affordable ways to help reduce your household waste and lower your home’s impact on the environment.
Did you know, the average New Zealand family throws out three shopping trolleys worth of food every year! This food waste if not composted, produces methane gas which has 25 times the impact on the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
The best way to tackle food waste is before the food even comes home. To get started you can:
- Plan your meals for the week before you shop
- Shop with a grocery list and stick to it!
If your meal planning goes awry and it looks like you’ll have leftovers, try:
- Composting or having a worm farm to deal with left over scraps
- Make jam or cakes out of leftover fruit that’s starting to turn
- Freeze food in portions so you can easily defrost only what you need
Open any kitchen cupboard and you’re bound to find multiple cleaning products that haven’t been used in months, and trusty old blue cleaning cloths.
Many cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that end up in our waterways, building up and affecting eco-systems which impact marine life and the wider food chain. Although we may intend to reuse the blue cleaning cloths, they inevitably end up in landfill, especially when it’s easier to reach for a new cloth than re-use an old one.
To clean-up your cleaning products, consider trying one of these alternatives:
- Blue cleaning cloths can be thrown in the washing machine to be used again and again!
- Create your own cleaning rags with old sheets, towels, clothes and more
- Make your own surface cleaner with bi-carb and warm water
- Use vinegar and water for an excellent window cleaner
We are living in an age where consumerism is rife and instead of getting things mended or using them for another purpose, we are throwing things out and buying new. The best way to combat our throwaway culture is to make the most of what your already have. While not everything may have another use, if you think outside the box you can usually find ways to give an item a second life!
A chip or crack in your favourite mug can be devastating, but don’t be discouraged. You don’t have to part with your mug, you can repurpose it to become a pot plant, a coffee mug candle or even a new pen holder for your desk!
You could also use jam jars as storage containers for snacks or take old egg cartons and newspapers to your local school for craft activities.
Bottled water is one of the biggest contributors to waste in the world with one bottle taking up to 450 years to biodegrade. Many people choose bottled water for convenience or as a healthy alternative when dining out. Some choose to drink bottled water at home, as their tap water may be unsafe to drink or they don’t like the taste.
If tap water doesn’t suit your family, consider installing a filtered water system. From a system which sits on the bench, to a filter that’s attached to your pipes, getting your family to refill their own bottles will go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint.
Just get started!
Regardless of what first steps you decide to take, every little bit counts to keep our beautiful planet healthy.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of RESIMAC Direct.
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