5 Simple Ways to Reduce Waste

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The green lifestyle is supported by a community of like-minded people just like our readers. We love discussions with our loyal audience and find that you inspire some of our very best tips! Inspired by our readers, here are five great ways to cut down on the waste in your life.

1. Buy from the bulk bins. Two of our Facebook fans weighed in with their advice. “We buy our staples in bulk at Whole Foods and store them in giant repurposed glass jars,” wrote Sofia S. Which staples, you ask? “Flour, legumes, nuts, pasta, honey, peanut butter,” wrote Sarajane V. L. So check out the grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and other goodies available in the bulk bins at your local grocery, market or co-op. If you don’t have any jars or bags, it’s likely you can get some while you are there. The Healthy Bites blog explains how to best make use of buying natural & organic in bulk.

2. Glass is precious – don’t throw it away! If you can reuse a jar or bottle, do it. It’s extremely easy! Just wash it as you’d wash any dirty dishes. But if the jar or bottle is impractically shaped, or the mouth is too small to be useful (like for some bottles) don’t feel guilty about recycling it. For even more inspiring ideas, check out 10 Great Ways to Reuse an Empty Glass Jar. What innovative uses for glass jars can you think of?

3. Egg cartons can be reused or recycled. Unfortunately, the best eggs in the supermarket come in pesky plastic cartons! The cheap eggs from factory farms come in more eco-friendly packaging because it’s cheaper, though flimsier. So make sure to recycle or reuse those plastic egg cartons that organic eggs come in. They make great planters for seedlings as they act like a tiny greenhouse in the sunlight. Better yet, see if you can find some local eggs. There’s a chance someone in your town has a few egg-laying hens in their backyard. Or check Local Harvest, a website bringing people together for real food from real farmers. Once you find one, gather up all of those old plastic cartons to use for taking the eggs home!

4. Find a local dairy farmer. You can have reusable glass milk bottles and make your own yogurt at home. Use LocalHarvest.org to find a dairy farmer close to home. Supporting local agriculture eliminates the waste of transportation, too. Wondering how to make your own yogurt? Check out this video on how to make your own organic yogurt. You may be surprised at how easy it is. And once you’ve made one batch, you’ve got the materials to make more – so it’s a real money-saver.

5. Get creative. Organize your home office with things you’d otherwise consider trash. Create a file folder about the size of a cereal box, with a large corner and side section cut out for easy access to files. It’s so easy – try it yourself with this DIY from RePlayGround, an excellent resource for making useful things out of what would otherwise go in the garbage bin. Or help to keep plastic bags out of garbage dumps by making one of these plastic bag crafts from Craftzine.

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