Where do we start?
Last week I decided that we as family of three will change to a minimal waste lifestyle. I posted about this on Instagram and I’ve got so many comments and ideas about where to start that I figured it would be nice to collect all of them together and add the things that we are already doing.
So here are the things that we have been consciously doing around our household:
We have 3 bins for compost, recyclable and general waste and we try to be mindful when we use them. Cause it’s nice to have the separate bins, but if we don’t follow the guidelines of the waste management company, it is actually worse than doing nothing.
We try to use as much filtered water as possible instead of buying water from plastic bottles. My husband complains a lot about the taste of the filtered water, but I think he is on board now to eliminate plastic bottles once and for all.
We try to keep our grocery shopping to the level that we' know we’ll consume, so that we don’t need to throw out anything. I’d say this is at 90% success rate at the moment.
We always tried to keep our number vehicles at a minimum, but sadly we needed 2 cars because of the transportation situation in and around Galway. But I am happy to say that we are now getting in a position to have only one car and use more the bikes to get from A to B. I am actually very excited about this. I love cycling. :) To be fair, we’ll still have 2 vehicles because my husband has recently bought a motorbike for himself (to fulfill his dream from childhood). But all in all we reduced the number of vehicles.
I’ve been trying to add on some eco-friendly cleaning products here and there, but it’s not consistent at all and I haven’t made my proper research about them whether they are indeed the good alternatives.
We take our own reusable shopping bags to our grocery shopping.
We try to politely refuse the bags at shops (even if they are paper) where and when possible.
We batch-cook on Sundays to save time and also energy. With one oven usage we can prepare 2-3 meals in different trays at the same time.
The ideas I’ve got from the comments are the following:
Ordering milk and orange juice in a glass bottle delivered by local milkman.
Thinking more about our waste and what we can do to reuse (rather than chuck it in the recycling bin) whilst making the most of what we already have in our life.
Trying to buy loose veggies and fruit or even from a farm shop not prepackaged.
Buying pasta, rice, spices loosely and put them into recycled jars.
Doing proper recycling.
Walking instead of driving.
Watching energy consumption and switching off lights when they are not needed.
Not running the water unnecessarily while brushing teeth.
Trying to freeze or reuse food leftovers somehow (e.g. dried bread can be made into breadcrumbs).
Using a lid while cooking to speed up the cooking process and save energy.
Reusing the back of the papers coming through post for taking shopping list notes for example.
Using natural cleaning products like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
Collecting empty batteries and disposing of them at collection points.
Taking the oil used for fries to a collection point (not sure if this is done in many countries, but in Hungary you can take them to the petrol stations and they’ll happily accept it).
Going into the trouble of fixing things instead buying new ones.
Exchanging stuff instead of buying new ones all the time or buying second-hand items.
I am actually blown away by how long this little start-list has become and these are indeed things that do not require much, but mostly shifting mindset. I also would like to add that the last few bits of items are coming from my Mom. She is just amazing! After I posted on Instagram about going minimal waste, she sent me an email with a huge list of things she is already doing. I knew about most of them, but I had thought earlier that she was just trying to save some money with them. But I understand now that these two can very much go hand in hand.
I already feel that changing to a minimalist life, producing minimal waste is going to be an exciting journey with lots of lessons along the way.
Original of thumbnail image is from Unsplash.