I love being outdoors and soaking up nature. Whether it is trail running, hiking, camping, or exploring, I am always up for an outdoor adventure. This got me to thinking: if I love nature so much, what can I do to love nature more? The average American creates nearly 5 pounds of trash everyday, where most of this ends up stagnant in a landfill. Wait, what? 5 Pounds of trash everyday? I started noticing the trash that I was personally creating, and started taking steps to reduce trash that I create on a daily basis. This was a small way that I can love nature more!
We all know that we shouldn’t litter. We do our part to put our discard items in a trash can, recycle what we can, and make sure we “pack in and pack out” on the trails. But if we really want to love nature more, we should reduce the trash we create in the first place. Most of the times, it is a small habit that can be switched to a better one. By swapping out a few of our habits with some easy changes, we can reduce the trash that we create. I started reducing my trash with baby steps, simply replacing some bad habits with better ones. Here are five easy, no stress ways to reduce your trash.
5 Easy Ways To Reduce Trash
Reusable Water Bottle
Stop buying bottled water and carry a refillable water bottle! I have been using a Nalgene Water Bottle for years. I fill it up at home in the morning, and toss it into my car or bag for the day. It holds up great even when thrown around on any of my outdoor adventures. My two teens have even started using their own as well!
Cook From Scratch
Cooking from scratch is not only healthier, but fresh ingredients use less packaging than take out or prepared foods. Think of the difference between chopping up a few tomatoes versus opening up a can. And what about snack bars and smoothies? By making them at home, you make healthy snacks and smoothies with no packaging. If you need some recipe ideas, check out my favorites here.
Grow Your Own
This can be as simple as a windowsill herb garden or a small container garden in your backyard. Even just growing a few herbs will reduce trash created from transporting them from a grocery store. I don’t have a big backyard, but I do have enough room for a 4′ x 4′ raised garden bed. Read more about my backyard garden here.
You don’t have to have a full fledged garden to appreciate compost! Even just adding coffee grounds and finely chopped banana peels to your plants will give them extra nutrients and reduce trash at the same time! Or try worm composting for your kitchen scraps. With a small indoor space, you can have some pet worms doing work for you! Check out this “Worm Factory” Worm Composter.
Pack In, Pack Out
This phrase is used on the trails all the time, but why not apply it to your daily life? If you create trash while you are on the go, can some of it be recycled or composted at home? If there isn’t a recycling bin (or a worm composter!) at work or while you are out and about, pack those items back into your bag and bring them home.
It might take a little while to get used to these new habits, but after time, these easy actions will be your new, earth friendly habits. And besides, doesn’t everyone want pet worms?? All kidding aside, taking a few steps everyday to reduce trash will add up over time to show how much you love nature.
Want even more tips and ideas on reducing your trash? Check out Rob Greenfield’s trash project and all the work that he does to “Make the world a happier, healthier place.”
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