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We have come to the last official post in the living with less series. Before I dive into today’s post, I just want to thank each and everyone of you who has been following this series and leaving comments and sending me messages about it. It is obvious that many of you are also feeling the need to live a life of less and I am so thankful that this has been a place where you have felt like you can share a bit of your journey with me.
While this may be the end of this series, next week I will be branching off and I plan on reserving one day a week to share all kinds of posts about living a simpler life (topics like budgeting, simple meals, making money stretch, ways to save, green cleaning, green beauty recipes, and so many more!).
For now let’s talk about waste. 🙂
Growing up I was never really a green kind of person. I pretty much never recycled and definitely didn’t think about the environment much. Basically, I took what we had for granted, thinking that kind of stuff was only for special people. It wasn’t until a few years ago (mainly in the last year) that I’ve realized it’s a spiritual issue. God gave this land to us to take care of, and I know I definitely was not doing my part to take care of it.
In the last six months I’ve really become aware of how much waste we produce. The following are some ways I am currently trying to reduce waste (it is definitely not an exhaustive list and I’ll be sharing more ideas in upcoming weeks).
This is something we started just eleven months ago and now I’m kind of obsessed. Let me start by saying that the dirt in our yard is awful (you dig a few inches down and you are immediately into clay), so I love the idea of taking things that I was going to throw away and instead turning them into beautiful dirt for my garden! I’m not going to get into the logistics of composting, there is so much information available online.
Also, a bit of a side note, if you find yourself throwing fruits and veggies into your regular garbage thinking it will compost in the landfill; stop now. From what I read the conditions in the landfill do not allow these items to breakdown, so bite the bullet and set yourself up with a compost (if at all possible).
our beautiful compost bin, it’s actually full, we need another one
Before you recycle that item, think to yourself, Self, could I reuse this? To get the most life out of an item reuse it before you recycle it.
Double Sided Printing
If at all possible I like to make sure I double side my printing to save paper. If we have paper that we’ve printed on only one side or we got some junk mail in that has a blank side I stick it in the cupboard for Raeca to write on or for those times I need to quickly jot something down.
Wrap Gifts in Newspaper or Fabric
Save that newspaper (especially the comics), fabric scraps and even old cereal boxes and use them for wrapping gifts. Or if you get a lot of gift bags, keep them and use them for the next time you have a gift to giveaway (just make sure you remove the tag if there is one written in).
Replace Plastic Containers with Glass or Stainless Steel
Lately I’ve been saving every glass jar I can find, empty spaghetti sauce, apple sauce and pizza sauce jars are my friends. I’m using them for storing all sorts of dry goods.
coconut, chia seeds and raisins
just a few of the glass jars I’ve been saving for my dry goods
If you no longer have a use for an item and it can be recycled, please recycle it.
Buy in Bulk/Don’t Buy Individually Packaged Items
Ooh, if there is one thing I can’t stand it’s individually packaged items. Between juice boxes, yogurt, fruit snacks, mini chocolate bars (who actually eats just one?), goldfish crackers, raisins, etc, you can pretty much buy anything individually packaged. But not only are you paying a premium for the extra packaging, you are making a lot more waste. So don’t do it. And buy in bulk whenever possible, it will definitely reduce some plastic waste.
Use Cloth Napkins and Cloths Instead of Paper Towel
We’ve been doing this for a few months now (I use these for wiping up spills and as napkins for Raeca). Actually, we still have some paper towel left but since we’ve been using cloth we rarely ever use the paper towel, we haven’t even gone through a whole roll in the last two months since the only times I’ve been using it have been for really, really dirty messes.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags and Produce Bags and Reuse Plastic Bags
Thankfully this is so easy to do now. Reusable shopping bags are so easily accessible and I love my produce bags (I use these ones). My town just got a Co-op, which I’m extra excited about because I just realized that they give me $0.03 a bag for each reusable bag I use, so over time it might actually pay for my bags. And if there is a day where I forget my bags or I didn’t bring enough and end up needing some plastic bags I make sure to reuse them (usually as garbage bags).
When we move I hope to purchase a decent rain barrel but right now I just have a little bin out collecting a little bit of rain water for me to water my little garden with. I also make sure to conserve water as much as possible inside the house and am trying to instill that into Raeca as well.
Bike Whenever Possible
Cutting back on gas is fairly hard to do where I live (because it’s a big province and everything is spaced out). The one thing I’ve been trying to do this summer is to bike whenever possible. I put Raeca into the bike trailer behind me and we bike the 5km to and from the library once or twice a week, we also bike to the grocery store, farmer’s market and everywhere else we need to go in our town. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do this in winter but I’m trying to take advantage of the warm weather while I can.
I’m sure I missed some stuff but that is a general idea on some ways we cut back on waste in our home. Reducing our waste has actually made me feel like a better caretaker of my family and the earth that God has given us to take care of.
I’d love to hear from you!
How do you cut back on waste?
Also, are there any simple living post topics that you would like to see in the future?
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P.S. Today is Fake Friday in our house (what we call it when Jared has Friday off) so for fun today you can get my regular ad space for half price! Just use the code: FAKEFRIDAY
Linking up with Casey Leigh.
AMY @ LOVELY DOES IT
Lovely Does It is a lifestyle blog that basically tells my story as a newlywed wife, living an adventure with my husband currently based in Alaska. I love to write about our everyday adventures, our joys, the things we are learning, and photos of our beautiful backdrop. It’s a place for me to document our lives and to remember to treasure the little things that can easily get buried in the middle of all the big things.
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