Sometimes, at this point in my Zero Waste journey, I forget just how many Zero Waste changes I have implemented in my life. The “new normal” sets in so fast every time I make a change, that I don’t even think twice about it. And we all know, Zero Waste isn’t just about fancy Stainless Steel containers and plastic free pantries; it is about our impact on the environment. Here are 5 creative ways to reduce waste that you probably haven’t thought of.
Take shorter showers – This doesn’t come up often in the Zero Waste community, because it doesn’t reduce any physical waste, but it is good for the environment, and good for your wallet. I used to have long, 10 or 20 minute showers until I realized how much I was wasting. Not only was I wasting water, but the electricity used to heat the water too! I can now have showers 3 minutes or less (most days). If this is particularly difficult for you, try setting yourself a timer and challenging yourself to make reductions in time every day.
Turn it off – I’m not talking about the lights (although you should turn those off too). No, I’m talking about those items in your house that you leave on standby. Your microwave, your washing machine, your TV. If it’s on, and you are not using it, its wasting energy, and shortening the life of your appliance.
Use fewer electronics – Are you addicted to technology? Your Phone, Your Ipad, Youtube, TV? For me it was TV. Since I have reduced the amount of TV I watch, not only have I saved a bunch of electricity, but I have rediscovered my love of books, and, my love of quiet time.
Do a No Spend Challenge – While the challenge itself has nothing to do with reducing waste, it teaches you to get creative. It teaches you to use what you have, to fix what you have, and to question whether you really need something. It is a short-term deprivation that has so many benefits.
Wash your clothes less – If you wear something for a few hours, in an air-conditioned room where you pretty much didn’t move or sweat, well, it probably doesn’t need washing. I’m not saying that you should walk around smelling bad, but sometimes, we throw things in the wash without questioning it. So question it, give it a little thought.
So there are 5 out of the box things I do that inadvertently reduce my waste. If you have any out of the box ideas, leave them in the comments below.