8 Simple Things for Reducing Waste - IT Guy's Point of View
We live in times where the 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 and household goods through Amazon-s or ordering the food to eat 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, these actions will end up generating a whole lot of waste (be it plastic or cardboard package material or pollution or landfill) as an output.
It is 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 great barrier to progress is to think that any change is a small change. So every drop counts and the fact that you are in this article means you do care about our sustainability so let's do it together.
With that said, here is my list of 8 simple things we can do (or rather the things that I am in the process of following) to reduce the waste/junk we generate on a regular basis. These are coming from a 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 for a small family. 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.
I 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 time you might end up changing your mind (at-least it has been helping me that way).
2. Curb your urge of upgrading electronics every year
With the new flashy items coming up every year with one catchy feature, it's easy to get lost in that craze and buy the items in a hurry. I am guessing that the main readers of this article are IT guys so generally money is not a constraint for buying items, so put some effort to curb the urge of buying the flashy new toy. It is hard in the beginning to pass the new phone or headphones you want to buy 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 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 it helps in several other ways as a side bonus - from achieving a decent exercise to spending time outdoors to helping you to reduce the work stress.
Not only you can eat tasty home grown veggies, you can also add a small compost bin to your gardening workflow. It turns out that the food that goes into land fill doesn't decay properly and having a compost bin not only helps there but also saves your fertilizer costs while helping you go all organic.
A simple guide for 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 your morning coffee pods or straws that goes with our drinks. So consider using reusable items everywhere possible starting with reusable shaving blade, 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 in the land fill - 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 Margaritas or keeping your kids ice cream but they can also be very useful for minimizing some of the waste. If you are a small family like us, and if you are 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.
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 Prime to just order and forget about the rest but for a such a small item its a waste of trip for the delivery truck along with unnecessary package that it comes in. You may still need Amazon for variety of other reason and for those consider using the Prime day delivery (once a week delivery) to group all of them together. It's okay that we wait a day to two for items to arrive.
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 repair items before running to a store buying 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. I will add the best ones to the article in future.