The road to reducing waste in our home has been long and winding. As with any big goal, it’s the little steps along the way that result in lasting change, especially when it comes to habits in the home. Over the years I’ve discovered items that have helped us make lasting changes to the way we reduce waste. We have a long way to go, but we’re always striving to do a little better. And now that I have my toddlers trained to ask if just about every piece of trash is recyclable, I’ve got a little extra pressure to pause and think before I consume and toss.
Find a few of my favorite items that help me reduce waste below. Keep in mind that there’s no need to rush out to purchase all of these items for yourself. Rather, if you were already in the market for any of the things below, hopefully having a vetted recommendation will make the process of seeking them out a little less cumbersome for you.
I’ve been using our stasher bags so consistently it took me two years to go through a previously purchased box of plastic sandwich bags! Once you get a handle on washing and drying these babies, you won’t go back. I highly recommend splurging on the real deal here—in my experience, some of the alternatives are harder to clean and begin to fall apart within a couple of uses.
Having these OXO containers on hand helps me refrain from using disposable containers to store leftover food. AND I find that these keep leftovers fresher longer.
My kids insist they drink out of straws. Having these silicone straws on hand is so nice. I usually have them in a reusable drawstring bag near my junk drawer, and they’re easy to throw in a bag in case we need them when we’re out and about.
I know it seems silly, but the prettier the towel, the more likely I’ll use it over a paper towel. I have started to collect embroidered tea towels and napkins from thrift stores and antique stores. I store them in a pretty, easily accessible basket so I’m never without them when messes inevitably happen at home.
Once you start intentionally thinking about how much plastic you use, you notice it everywhere. Moving toward using compostable garbage bags makes a ton of sense! I will admit we rotate between these and traditional garbage bags still, but the bags we use for dog waste are all now 100% compostable!
Before COVID, I would skip produce bags for most items and give them a good wash at home. Since lockdown, reusable produce bags have become my favorite! They are easy to dry, hold a ton of weight, and are easy to throw in your bag so you’re never caught at the market without one.
There are so many pretty soap dispenser options out there to fit any decor style. Switching to bulk soap is a breeze, and you’ll find yourself buying individual bottles of soap so much less (if at all)!
I always keep a couple of reusable bags from BAGGU in my purse so I’m never without them when I’m out shopping. They still have the best patterns and colors out there, IMO!
Growing my own herbs in my windowsill at home helps me refrain from buying any that are packaged in plastic from the store. I’m looking forward to keeping my basil thriving all year long…fingers crossed!
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Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - April 22, 2021
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Great ideas! Don’t forget cloth napkins😍
Absolutely! We’ve started using those as well. 🙂