10 tips to reduce waste and save money

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Save the earth while saving cash

You don’t need superpowers to save the Earth. There are simple steps we can all take every day to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to create a healthier planet. Oh, and why not save a few dollars while we do it? Here’s a list of 10 quick tips to reduce waste and save a little cash.

1. Bring your own coffee mug

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to bring your own temperature-controlled travel mug anytime you grab a coffee. Not only will the barista potentially give you a little more, but many establishments (like Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee) offer discounts for bringing in your own mug.

2. Use tote bags instead of plastic

Grab your tote bags every time you head to the grocery or retail store. It may sound like a difficult task (especially if you have a large family), but once you get in the habit, it becomes second nature. Some cities and states, including California, Hawaii, and Washington D.C., have enacted either a ban or charge for plastic bags. This has helped to discourage their use and decrease pollution.

3. Have all bank statements and other bills sent to you online

Instead of getting paper statements, have your financial institution and utilities providers send you everything electronically. This is a simple, quick, and easy way to reduce garbage and possibly prevent identity theft by removing personal details from your mailbox.

4. Use rechargeable batteries

Purchase rechargeable batteries for your household appliances. This may be a small investment initially, but will save you money in the long run. Batteries also create toxic waste in landfills. Yuck!

5. Repurpose old fruits and veggies

Don’t throw away those fruits and vegetables the minute you see a brown spot. Instead, turn them into smoothies you can freeze and drink at your convenience. Not only are you saving money, but you’re also eating healthier.

6. Get rid of plastic altogether

Plastic containers have harmful chemicals that can end up in your food when reheated. Opt for glass containers to store foods, which don’t pose any harmful risks and last much longer. Should I even mention plastic water bottles? Try using reusable water containers with an attached filter instead of purchasing packs of water bottles for the fam.

7. Eliminate paper products in the kitchen

Paper plates and paper towels can easily be replaced by cloth towels in the kitchen. It does take a little more washing on your part, but saving the environment will take a little elbow grease. Since you’re already doing the extra load of laundry, get rid of paper napkins and use cloth too.

8. Try composting

You don’t need to have a garden to compost. You can start small with eggshells and coffee grounds, which can be added to houseplants. Once you get really daring, you can upgrade to fruit and veggie waste along with grass clippings. The less trash the better. Using the soil from your compost helps plants retain water and need less chemical enhancers. This translates into saving money and giving you the appearance of a green thumb.

9. Reduce food waste by meal prepping

Carefully plan your meals ahead. You’ll reduce the amount of food thrown away and save tons at the grocery store. Cook well-proportioned meals and place in glass containers that can be used over the next couple of days. Your waistline and wallet will thank you.

10. Make simple cleaning supplies

Water and vinegar can be mixed to create a simple counter-cleaning product. Lemon juice can be used to clean cutting boards or eliminate a smelly drain. Don’t wanna make your own products? Try buying concentrates, which reduce packaging and last longer.

What other tips do you have to reduce waste and save money? Share your tips here.

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