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20 Totally Painless Tips for Reducing Waste

The average American is responsible for generating 4.4 pounds of trash generated daily and most developed world numbers aren’t far from this norm. Shocking, isn’t it? Don’t despair, there are actions you can take in your everyday life to reduce waste and do your part to curb the trend!

Here are our 20 tips:

1. Invest in a good reusable water bottle
Plastic single use water bottles and paper drink cups are terrible for the environment and downright unnecessary, for general use. Your choice to select a durable water bottle and a good travel mug for hot drinks will ensure that you are always in control of your hydration on the go and keeps bottles and cups
out of the landfill.

2. Say no to plastic shopping bags
Plan ahead and bring your own cloth bags to pack and carry groceries instead of relying on supermarket plastic bags.

3. Opt out of junk mail
Get online and cancel your physical mailing list subscriptions with companies that may be bombarding your physical mailbox with catalogs and junk mail. These days, offers and ads for the stores you love can be received by email.

4. Compost
A good amount of what you throw into the kitchen trash may be suitable for compost and returned to the earth for gardening. All it takes is a small lidded bin and a little counter space to get started 

5. Use real dishes for everyday and for entertaining
The tremendous waste produced by disposable plates and utensils is not worth the environmental cost we all pay. Take the time to roll up your sleeves to wash while a friend dries!

6. Fix it, don’t toss it
Be sure to invest your money (and time) in finding good quality products that will last, rather than re-buying items of poor quality that are surely destined for trash.

7. Reuse containers
Good air-tight containers are great for storing food items like baking ingredients, cereals, and many perishable items. Some stores and bulk providers encourage you to bring your own clean jars and containers for purchase and carry.

8. Plan your meals
For starters, don’t shop for groceries while hungry! Having a meal plan and a list will help you to buy only the food you need and avoid the guilt and disappointment of tossing spoiled food.

9. Discover E-books
Save space and stay organized by adding to your collection of e-books and audiobooks instead of paper books. Use the library for books you don’t want or need to own.

10. Digital subscriptions
Cap that tower of monthly magazines! Most major mags are available in e-versions that can be purchased as a single issue or for ongoing release and easily toted on your phone/tablet.

11. Track your spending
Dedicate a month to spending as mindfully as possible and document where your money goes. This will help you to identify areas in which you are acquiring more than you actually need.

12. Avoid processed foods
Soups, salad dressings and simple desserts can be made at home very easily and will save you the cost and waste of packaged goods.

13. Take-away with less waste
Decline the offer of paper or plastic (plates, cups, straws and single-serving containers) that you may not need. For the sake of eating on the go, it’s a good idea to carry your own travel utensils and straws when possible.

14. Flip the page
Be sure to use both sides of a piece of paper before recycling it.

15. Clean with cloth
Use old clothes for cleaning rags around the house, instead of paper towels. In lieu of using disposable paper napkins, cloth napkins add a comforting touch when dining at home.

16. DIY personal care products
Research and review recipes for making your own toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. You’ll save money and you’ll be able to keep the ingredients non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

17. DIY cleaning products
Avoid the chemicals and plastic bottles that store-bought cleaners offer by making and storing your homemade cleaners in a recycled glass bottles with repurposed spray nozzles from old empties.

18. Donate
Old clothes cluttering your space, but still in good condition? Give them new life through donation.

19. Recycle, of course
In every city, recycling processes allow you to recycle more than ever before. Take the time to Find out which items you can recycle locally, and how to do so.

20. Paperless billing
Bills are never welcome, but they are necessary. Switching from mail to electronic billing will reduce your clutter and keep your bills organized and accessible at all times.

With love and compassion,
Team Karunaki

Photocred: NeONBRAND on Unsplash