Creative Ways to Reduce Waste and Save Money.
Common sense, creative savings and even healthy self-interest, are great motivators for making sustainable choices in everyday life.
It is not just about finding quick fixes to immediate problems, in fact, we are often tempted by simple and handy solutions offered by eco-conscious shops. In fact, many stores have solutions that are cool and eco-friendly, but maybe we can think of something even better, I mean we should all try to avoid buying unnecessary items.
Let me tell you what happened to me some time ago. In an attempt to reduce packaging waste, I decided to buy pasta, cereals, dried fruits, legumes and other kind of goods in bulk. I entered a shop that sells products of this kind and, as I realized I needed to pack every item I bought, I went to the counter to check out the solutions they offered but these were quite expensive and I had the feeling I was going to buy something I should have avoided.I thought reducing waste and saving resources means mainly making use of the concept of recycling. These stores, usually offer customers biodegradable take-away containers or nice kits of cotton reusable bags of different sizes. In the case of the shop I visited, the most sustainable solution was a set of 4 bags made from reusable cotton (excellent quality) of different sizes for only 15 euros! A good green solution you say, but why not be even more creative and save money? You probably already know what I am thinking.
If we go shopping by car, we can bring with us jars, tins or any other kind of containers to store the unpackaged food we buy. Obviously, we don’t need to buy them, just about any containers or jars can be recycled from yogurt, marmalades, juices… and if you can’t find any, you should just ask your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or friends to save them for you and you’ll come home with a carfull!
But if you shop on foot, it’s perhaps better to make some cotton reusable bags, reusing old sheets, shirts, linen and cotton clothing that you no longer use. Sewing your own reusable bag it’s easy and fun and you’ll find plenty of tutorials online. I’m not the world’s best sewer but it’s really simple! And if you don’t feel like doing it, you can always ask your grandma or a friend who has a sewing machine and they can be ready in a flash. It’s that easy.
We can make this small change to maintain our recycling mentality; and it is really easy to carry cotton bags, they are extremely light and don’t take up much space. We can use them to carry many things, fresh as well as dry food. Just remember to always put them in your bag or backpack or whatever you usually carry when you go out.
Personally, I used to feel very distressed when I went to empty my garbage bin and saw that in 3 days I had filled the whole bin with containers, packaging and plastic staff of all kinds. Now I’m more serene and I don’t need to go to the garbage containers on the street (depressing place) so often … I try to throw the trash out less often, maybe once every 2 weeks or even every month. In doing this, I not only feel I’m changing my behaviour in favor of the environment, but I’m also helping myself. Yes, after all everybody knows we should be honest with ourselves; altruism is beautiful and environmentalism is important, but really, we are all primarily driven by our personal self-interest. Real change must have real advantages for us; we have to understand that if we adopt these small changes, first of all, we’ll feel good about ourselves, feel safer with less plastic polluting our environment, have a cleaner conscience, increase our energy and obviously see how much money we’ll save by our efforts, in fact unpackaged food is usually eco and cheaper than eco packaged one, and by recycling jars and making our own bags we will avoid buying unnecessary items. Good recycling everyone!
And within the cycle of recycling, I invite you to read the next posts on soaps made with recycled oil, personal hygiene products and natural cosmetics … yes, I have been researching and practicing this topic for many years and I’m happy to share with you all the recipes and formulas you could want to have!
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