Six Small Ways for Your Family to Cut Waste by A LOT

I am a mom of five, 5 years and under. You wouldn’t believe the faces I get when people hear that. It’s kind of entertaining, really. I love the size of our family and all of it's craziness. But with a big family, comes a lot of food. A lot of tidying clutter. A lot of waste.. right?

    My kids are my world, as I’m sure many can relate. I often find myself opting for any convenience that life throws at me, in order to spend more time with them. This can be anything - drive-thru, delivery, premade meals from Sobeys, mindless online shopping and spoiling with a million {plastic} toys.

    This year, I’ve buckled down to change this lifestyle. I no longer seek convenience (I mean, I still take it sometimes. I’m only human). I’m spending more time with the kids in a healthier, less wasteful way. Our kids are growing up in a world overflowing with garbage and plastic, plastic, plastic and it doesn't have to be that way.. Today is a good day to start making a difference. Start with just one thing today. It doesn’t have to be drastic, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Every little bit counts. So without further adieu, here is 6 EASY and affordable ways to reduce your waste at home.

 

Compost

Barrie has an incredible FREE weekly service for organic waste. You throw your food scraps in a bin and wheel it to the curb. You’ll be amazed at how much less garbage you have, just by doing this. Plus! You won’t have a stinky garbage bin. It’s win, win. Teach your kids to scrape plates into the green bin instead of the garbage.

 
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Use What You Have

 I’ve heard a lot of people say, “You can’t be ‘zero waste’ unless you have a lot of money.” I absolutely disagree with this! You have so much at home already, that you can get more use out of. I’ll give you a few examples..

 

  • chicken/turkey carcass = bone broth        {FREE soup base!}
  • vegetable scraps = veggie broth
  • empty, used sauce & jam jars = new jar for whatever you want, bulk
  • vinegar = non-toxic cleaner
  • salt + oil = foot or body scrub
  • seeds in your produce = the beginning of a beautiful little garden

 

Switch to Cloth Diapers

 

    This is such an easy way to save money AND be eco-friendly. I had 4 in diapers for a year, I’m finally down to 3; always at least two though. It’s not as hard and laboursome as some people make it out to be. Let’s be real. You’re doing laundry anyway. You have loads lined up, already sorted, waiting to be thrown into the washer. Why not add some diapers in the mix? Not only are they staying out of our landfill, there are NO chemicals on baby's squishy bum. The prints are seriously adorable and you can pass them on baby to baby. You’ve got nothing to lose with this one.

 

Stop Buying Paper Towel

 

    Instead of that roll on the counter, put a little pile of washcloths of hand towels. Easy to grab, easy to use. No more plastic packaging, no more garbage and think of all the money you’ll save!

 

Say No to Take-Out Cups

 

    Make your coffee at home and take it in the car with you – where you can actually enjoy it HOT.. Or.. Try to drink it before leaving.. but good luck. If your coffee sucks compared to that ‘triple grande caramel macchiato' at Starbucks, bring your own mug. (that’s my fave) Yes, even in drive-thru, you can let them know at the speaker and bonus.. you get to save 10 cents! It doesn’t seem like much but it’ll make you smile and make a big impact.

 

 

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Involve Your Kids

    Okay, this has been my FAVOURITE part! Kids have amazing imaginations. They love to create. They love to see the final product of something that they made. Watch how proud they will be to see what they’ve accomplished and you’ll want to do this more often.

    Bake from scratch. Explore outside. Go for a walk through woodsy trails and collect some things for a homemade craft (FREE). Plant flowers or veggies and have them water the plants as they grow. Let them stir, cut or serve some fruit for the family. Make all the fun things. Bubbly soap, play doh, chalk, paints. They will LOVE it.

It’s all about the little changes that we make. Baby steps. One step at a time. All of those things. If one person uses 2 plastic bottles a day, imagine how many are used each day if 7 BILLION people are doing the same. Be the change. Be mindful and present and have FUN with it.

If you want more free & affordable, small change ideas.. follow me on Facebook and we can do it together. Know better, do better.

-More from Going Zero Waste In Barrie HERE