Last updated in August 2020
There are many ways to reduce household waste. Currently, there is a high demand to cut down waste, especially plastic but many people are ill-informed about reusable alternatives.
Additionally, being part of the throw-away culture is linked to substantial costs. Why replacing items over and over when you could buy them just once? Help to save the planet and your wallet at the same time with these ways to reduce household waste.
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Table of Contents
10 ways to reduce household waste
1. Save money when doing laundry
A laundry egg is one of many ways to reduce household waste. It fabulously replaces your normal washing detergent and fabric conditioner. One laundry egg will last for 720 washes so there is a huge reduction in plastic waste compared to normal detergent and conditioner.
If you wash once a week or less, one egg will last for more than 12 years. For comparison, one bottle of detergent may last for 54 washes and cost £9 (depending on the brand). As for fabric conditioner, you may get 54 washes for £3 (depending on the brand).
Based on this, the cost per 100 washes would be
- £3 with the laundry egg
- £22 with regular detergent and conditioner
The downside of the laundry eggs is that it will not give you the same fragrance as regular detergent. Surprisingly, your clothes will smell like clothes, not like you live inside a drug store.
2. Reusable period wear
Make your period more comfortable with reusable period wear. While periods will never be the most fun time of the month, there is substantial potential for improvement.
Plastic pads and synthetic tampons add a huge amount of waste to landfills and keeping buying new packs eats your money. This is totally avoidable in our modern days: There are now a range of reusable and environment-friendly options.
When I started wearing reusable pads, I was not quite sure where to start. I searched for the product on Amazon with the highest rating and found these lovely pads. The colourful design makes my period look pretty and they are so comfortable, that you will forget you are wearing them.
Another option to reduce waste and save money are period-proof underpants. These are ideal for use at night as they are super leak proof and can absorb a ton.
Note that I am currently not recommending the use of menstrual cups. Menstrual cups may be associated with a higher occurrence of toxic shock syndrome.
3. ways to reduce household waste – handkerchiefs
If you suffer from hayfever like me, you will know how little time it takes to use up a pack of tissues. The waste quickly adds up and you have to run to the shop to buy a new supply of tissues.
Recently, I decided I had enough of this and started using cotton handkerchiefs instead. Now when I am having a runny nose, I can elegantly show-off my handkerchief with its beautiful floral stitches like a princess in 1820.
4. Save the ocean with reusable shopping bags
With plastic bags now costing a minimum of £0.05, the UK has finally reached the era of reusable shopping bags. And there is a huge variety! You can opt for convenient bags that can be folded into a small pocket.
Or you could choose a stylish cotton bag that also makes a fashionable accessory. Whichever you use, this is one of the best ways to reduce household waste.
5. Be a trendsetter with steel straws
Plastic straws are the worst! You use them for two minutes and off to the bin they go. Worse yet, they commonly come in separate plastic wrapping, adding to the mountain of plastic waste.
McDonalds is changing to paper straws as even they recognise the unnecessary pollution. So, if you are still using plastic straws you may soon be a worse waste offender than a fast-food chain. However, with steel straws, you can be one step ahead of everyone else and reduce your waste to ZERO. Also, steel straws are far more stylish than their plastic counterparts.
6. Safety razors for a better shaving experience
I hate how I have to pay £20 for a pack of four cartridges for my razor. And then, after a few uses, there is more plastic waste. When I researched cheaper and more sustainable options, I soon read about the sudden popularity of safety razors.
Additionally, safety razors come with the benefit of a better shaving experience. Only one blade at a time touches your skin, resulting in less skin irritation, shave bumps and ingrown hairs.
What are the disadvantages of safety razors? They do not usually come in fancy colours. You will have to get used to looking at cold metal rather than dream pink or peachy orange. I think I can live with that!
7. Protect your food with beeswax wraps
Are you currently wrapping your food in paper wraps or plastic boxes? Beeswax wraps are a one of my favourite ways to reduce household waste. Reduce waste and save money with wraps made out of beeswax and cotton that can be washed after use.
To use a beeswax wrap, you have to warm it up a little with your hands and wrap it around your food. Then wrap it around your food. The beeswax wrap will stick together, safely protecting your food.
8. Reduce waste and save money with refillable water bottles
The benefit of refillable water bottles is plainly obvious. It is so easy to pick up a small plastic bottle with water when you are out and feel thirsty. However, over time the costs and waste add up quickly. With a refillable water bottle, you have no extra costs and little waste after years of use.
There are so many different options for refillable bottles. I recommend steel-based bottles to reduce plastic usage, but there are also many BPA-free plastic bottles. If you prefer your water ice cold, or like drinking hot tea, you could look into buying a thermos bottle.
9. Reusable gift bags
When Christmas comes around, people find great joy in exchanging presents. However, all that is left the day after is a mountain of used gift wraps, ready to fill up the bins. Do you want to break this vicious cycle? Reusable gift bags are one solution.
Sadly, when I tried to introduce reusable gift bags into my family, they were not well-liked. I was accused of not wanting to put any effort into wrapping my presents. While my family was not all that wrong with this, it also highlights another benefit of using reusable gift bags. Even if you are unskilled or lazy when it comes to gift wrapping, with gift bags, your presents will always look nice.
10. Reduce waste and save money with rechargeable batteries
Batteries are known as annoying everyday items that always need to be replaced sooner than you think. Imagine how much you could save over time if you could simply recharge your batteries.
Rechargeable batteries have actually been on the market for a very long time. Understandably, battery manufacturers earn less money with these, so rechargeable batteries never got the attention they deserved.
The drawbacks of rechargeable batteries are that they do not last forever. When it is eventually time dispose of them (mine lasted for more than five years), they become as environment-unfriendly as regular batteries. Therefore, I recommend taking good care of your rechargeable batteries.
Ways to reduce household waste summary
A more environmental-friendly lifestyle has many advantages. Apart from buying reusable items, you can also reduce your fuel consumption to drive more eco-friendly. Or leave your car at home and earn money from walking.
To easily reduce waste and save money at home you can use
- Laundry eggs
- Reusable period wear
- Cotton handkerchiefs
- Reusable shopping bags
- Steel straws
- Safety razors
- Beeswax wraps
- Refillable water bottles
- Reusable gift bags
- Rechargeable batteries
Find out what else you can change to become more sustainable.
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