We live in times where technology is front and center of our lives and most of what we need can be achieved though one click of a button. Whether it's purchasing the items like clothes & household goods through Amazon-s or ordering the food through Uber-s. Like the good old saying 'with great power comes great responsibility', there is a bit of responsibility on us to use this power with care. If we don't, our actions will end up generating a whole lot of waste (be it plastic or cardboard package materials or pollution or landfill) as an output.
It's generally very easy to think in the lines of 'a single person doing abc is not going to change the world' and simply continue doing what we are doing. However, the greatest barrier to progress is to think that any change is a small change. So every drop counts and the fact that you are reading this article means you do care about our planet's sustainability so let's do it together.
With that said, here is our list of 8 simple things anyone can follow to reduce the waste/junk we generate on a regular basis. These are coming from a reasonably lazy IT guy, so if I can follow them I am pretty sure anyone can do it.
1. Stop the take-out food
Maybe it's obvious but I was shocked when I realized the amount of waste we get from a single order of take-out food. All of it can simply be avoided by either eating at a restaurant or even better cooking at home. Cooking at home for sure is a healthier option at personal level and all it takes is a start. It's not easy to just change everything with a simple snap like Thanos but one step at a time can take you there.
We personally haven't reached the nirvana state yet and still in the process of getting there however it helps to think twice before placing a take out order as lot of times you might end up changing your mind (at-least it has been helping us that way).
2. Curb your urge of upgrading gadgets every year
With majority of gadgets following one year refresh cycle with few catchy features, it's easy to get lost in the hype and buy the items in a hurry. I am guessing that the main readers of this article are IT folks and typically money is not a constraint for buying items, so put some effort to curb the urge of upgrading every year. It's hard in the beginning to pass the new phone or headphones but all it takes is a single step and before you know it you are all set.
3. Consider a veggie garden
One of the best tips in reducing the waste is to start a veggie garden and I can guarantee that you will not regret it. It may sound like a lot of work however there are several other benefits as a side bonus - from achieving a decent exercise to spending time outdoors to easing out the work stress. So there is enough bang for the buck here to take this tip seriously.
While enjoying the tasty and organic home grown veggies, consider adding a small compost bin to your gardening workflow. It turns out the food waste that goes into land fills doesn't decay properly and having a compost bin not only helps in that regard but also saves your fertilizer costs as a bonus.
Our simple guide for a no nonsense composting can be found here.
4. Consider reusable everything
A very simple and yet relatively hard step is to stop using the single-serve items. Be it our morning coffee pods or straws that goes with our drinks. So consider using reusable items everywhere possible starting with reusable shaving blades, straws and cups, coffee pods etc. along with carrying your own bag to grocery store. Just keep reminding yourself about the fact that all these single-use items end-up somewhere as trash and eventually you will change your habit for one item at a time.
5. Buy in bulk wherever possible
Another simple way to reduce some of the waste we generate is to purchase items in bulk instead of those smaller travel size kind of bottles. This includes your hard-wash, shampoo, cooking oil, dish washing liquid etc. Consider using refills as lot of companies have bio degradable refill bags. As a side benefit, it also costs less to buy things in bulk.
6. Freeze it and don't throw it
Freezers aren’t just for making ice for your Martinis (wink) but they are very effective for minimizing some of the day-to-day waste. If you are a small family like us, and not sure whether you can finish the food before it goes bad (be it cooked curries or items like bread or veggies), just keep it in the freezer. You can use it back when you are bit lazy to prepare food from scratch.
7. Shop local
This tip is not just limiting to shopping at local farmers market etc. but also for using local stores for small items like tooth-paste, batteries etc. instead of ordering them on Amazon one item at a time. It's very easy with Amazon Prime to just order and forget about the rest but for such a small item it's a waste of trip for the delivery truck along with unnecessary packaging that it comes in. You may still need to order from Amazon for variety of other reasons and in those cases consider grouping multiple items together.
8. Finally be responsible
And the last but not the least tip is to be responsible. In your daily life try to think twice before making any purchases and use the items you already have. Consider repairing items before running to a store and buy a new one.
That's all from me and hope this was helpful to you. Peace !!!
On a side note, if you have any other ideas or suggestion please leave them in the comments below for helping other readers.