3 Ways To Reduce Waste In Your Day-a-Day
Waste is the “action or effect of wasting or overspending”.
This generation seems to be hearing this word and seeing the effects of it a lot more these days and yet there is a positive emergent energy fighting for a more sustainable lifestyle, trying to tackle the obvious impact and prevent further damage to our Planet.
But how can we stop waste? Let me star with 3 ideas to REDUCE WASTE in our daily lives. If you google it you may find 10, 20, dozens of ways…all it matters is you are doing something!
1. Reduce Food Waste
Did you Know that an estimated one third of all food produced globally is either lost or wasted?! Because we have a globalised food supply system, demand for food in the developed countries can drive up the price of food grown for export in developing countries, as well as displace the growth of crops to feed native populations and drive accelerated degradation of natural habitats. Watch the following video for more detailed information:
Video FAO food wastage footprint, youtube
My advice is planning your meals in advance, buy exclusively what you´ll need and use leftovers to create new recipes (check online tutorials and recipes using leftovers. Check Béa Johnson book and instagram); As citizens we can contribute by searching for local food providers in markets/local shops – your food will have a longer lifespan and will be more nutritious as it was harvested fresh, didn’t travel for days and wasn’t put through different temperatures and conditions to get to the shelves.
Look for campaigns and projects that contribute to this reduction – Stop Food Waste, Further with Food, Zero Waste, etc. I know the “Zero Waste Movements” may seem quite an herculean effort but they do contribute with a good range of tips and ideas to reduce waste and overall consumerism.
2. Reduce purchase of non-essential goods
Creating a new routine on this basis brings more autonomy upon your purchase decisions and a more sensitive relationship with current environmental issues; the commerce marketing goal is to feed you with necessities, that most of the times aren’t necessary …how many shower gel bottles, perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning products, jeans, shoes, etc. (the list could be huge!) do you really need ?
From rescuing traditional crafts, to learning how to formulate your own personal and household products (for skincare, house cleaning, tidy up the garden, etc), giving new life to clothes (transforming or donating) and buy when needed from local producers, enhancing your local economy; what sometimes seems more expensive is actually a really good investment, as you will cherish it and make it last longer.
EN: Video 50 things I don´t buy youtube
3. Reduce acquisition of non-biodegradable products
We talk about “disposable” products derived from oil or similar subtract (common plastic) – plastic packaging, plastic cutlery and cups, and so many other products of single-use; the destination may be incineration, disposal in landfills or recycling; unfortunately, a big share of the plastics isn’t recyclable and the other share may never be recycled – only 10 to 11% of plastic is recycled worldwide.
The aim is to reduce waste not to perpetuate the disposable culture at the root of our waste crisis!
I the meantime, there are alternatives out there still under research, testing and improvement, such as:
- Barkeys© (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73jPh0eRP-Y ) edible spoons made from millet, rice and wheat, 100% vegan and that last 20 minutes when in contact with liquids ;
- BioPoli© cups of Portuguese origin; reusable and biodegradable;
- Natracare© organic pads and tampons made from sustainable materials that are compostable, biodegradable and a 100% plastic free;
- Vegaware© compostable take away trays, cups, etc.
Note that some of these new alternatives (as tableware and cups made from PLA) are NOT home compostable and eventually end up in landfills; despite being better than the oil derived plastic still isn´t the answer for single use; PLA requires special conditions to compost and they were not designed as a take away despite being sold as same: 1) PLA requires specific enzymes which hydrolyze PLA and these are not available in the normal environment except on very rare occasions or in special settings organized at an industrial scale. So if you buy one take away coffee in a PLA cup you need to leave it with the cafe/provider.