By making a few simple changes to our daily routines, we can help reduce this amount and positively impact our planet’s future. Here are ten ways to get started.
1. Stop relying so heavily on single-use items
- Swap out single-use items like plastic wrap, tin foil, and paper towels for sustainable alternatives. Replace tinfoil and parchment paper with silicone baking sheets and use washable microfibre cloths instead of paper towels.
- Invest in a reusable water bottle, reusable lunch containers and washable snack bags
- Pack an insulated travel mug for coffee (disposable paper ones are not recyclable due to their inside coating)
2. Use less water
The average Canadian uses 329 litres of water every day, but you can reduce your usage with these simple strategies:
- Be mindful of your water use during daily tasks: turn off taps when not in use, take shorter showers, and hand wash dishes if you only need to clean a few
- Consider upgrading your dishwasher and washing machine to water-efficient models
- When landscaping, choose native plants that require less water and invest in environmentally conscious irrigation systems
3. Shop in bulk
Shopping in bulk can be an effective way to reduce the amount of waste your household produces because it involves less single-use packaging. Consider bringing your own reusable containers when shopping at bulk stores to restock items like grains, nuts, and cleaning supplies.
4. Reduce food waste: plan and compost
Food waste accounts for a significant portion of overall waste. In fact, according to the UN, an estimated one-third of all food produced is wasted each year. To help reduce food waste:
- Plan your meals according to the expiry dates of the food in your fridge
- Consider composting anything that becomes unsuitable for consumption (doing so transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil that will benefit your garden)
5. Participate in the second-hand economy
Participating in the second-hand economy can be a sustainable and cost-effective way to buy and sell unique items and save money. If you’re not using certain items, think about how you could repurpose them or re-sell them through online marketplaces or local thrift stores – and, when shopping for new things, consider these same avenues before buying new.
6. Embrace sustainable fashion
Embracing sustainable fashion is a powerful way to make an impact on both the environment and the lives of workers within the fashion supply chain.
- Seek out clothing brands that prioritize ethical and eco-friendly practices, such as those companies with reputable eco-friendly certifications
- Look for garments made from organic, recycled, or upcycled materials and choose timeless and durable pieces rather than continuously chasing new trends and buying disposable, low-quality garments
7. Find a new home for old furniture
When it's time to part ways with your old furniture, explore options beyond the landfill. Consider donating to local charities or posting online ads to sell or give it away. Some donation centres even offer pickup services for used furniture to make it easy and convenient.
8. Dispose of electronics responsibly
Old computers, televisions, and other electronic devices are a significant burden on Canadian landfills, since many of these devices contain harmful chemicals. Before getting rid of an electronic device, check if the manufacturer has a drop-off option or search for recycling programs in your province. Disposing of these items responsibly helps ensure that valuable components are recycled and harmful substances are handled safely.
9. Go paperless
In today's digital world, going paperless is easier than ever. Take advantage of online options (like The Personal’s Online Services) to receive digital documents from all your service providers – like your bank, cell phone company, internet provider, and more. This simple change reduces paper waste and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.
10. Educate and inspire others
Spread awareness about waste reduction by sharing your knowledge and experiences with friends, family, and your community. Organize workshops, participate in local sustainability initiatives, and encourage others to adopt eco-friendly practices. Remember: doing so can create a ripple effect that leads to a significant reduction in the amount of waste we generate.
By integrating these ten sustainability practices into your life you can help reduce the amount of waste you generate and make a positive impact on the environment. Take action today to create a cleaner and greener future for all!
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.