Updated: May 17, 2020
I recently started getting involved in Eco-friendly living. I am nowhere near where I want to be in this journey, but I am learning every day and have started making good swaps that I would love to tell you about. I have been wanting to make better choices when it comes to our family consumption on goods. I am ashamed to admit this but we are/were a pretty wasteful family. I say it that way because we are in the process of reducing our carbon footprint and everyone has to start somewhere, right. There are many ways to cut down on waste and we have officially started our lifestyle change about a month ago. There are a few things that made me want to make the leap into Eco-friendly living but, one major thing that opened my eyes was literally seeing our trash sitting in the dump.
My dad works in a county landfill and I've been there a few times with him. I cannot believe the amount of trash that is there and how much stuff we humans waste. And whats worse is that all they basically do at landfills is bury the trash into the earth. There are massive tractors that they use to compact the tons of trash into the ground. Now this is just one landfill in one place. Imagine the amount of trash that is in the 3,091 landfills just in the United States. We are contributing to the landfills everyday and there is nowhere for that trash to go. It sits on our earth for some crazy number of years. Most things wont decompose in our lifetime and even if it does do we want this stuff poisoning our earth? What is something that would make this problem matter to you and make you want to do lifestyle change?
When I started this I did not want to spend a ton of money on all the reuse items that everyone claims you need. I kept watching YouTube videos of all these wonderful people who are rocking the Eco-friendly lifestyle. But there is one thing I did notice and that is most of the videos I watched were people who don’t have children and that was extremely disheartening for me because all I was thinking is how impossible it will be for us to do this.
It took me awhile but I realized that we don’t have to be perfect to make a difference. If we start replacing items that we are running out of with reusable options that is a great start. We still have a lot of daily waste but I have been doing more than just trashing the single use items. I have been more observant with what goes into the trash can. I have been recycling whatever I can and in the back yard on the side of the house I started a compost bin, made out of an old Rubbermaid tote that wasn't in use anymore. This has reduced the amount of trash we have been producing by so much that we have gotten a smaller trash can from Waste Management and that means we are saving money at the same time because we have to pay for trash pick up. The recycling pick up is close to nothing. So by me focusing a little more on separating the trash we have made an impact in a couple ways. The kids have also been learning how to recycle and what gets recycled so I’m going to consider it a home school lesson also, hahaha.
With all of the trash focus lately it made me think about all the stuff in the house that we don’t use or that the kids have out grown and so we have also been donating our stuff instead of trashing it. If someone else can use it and it doesn’t end up in the landfill just yet, I am happy for now. The same goes for buying new stuff, if there is something I need I will check the local Buy Nothing page or buy/sell/trade pages to see if someone is getting rid of what I need before I hit up Amazon or Walmart. I did invest in some reuse food storage bags and I was also gifted a Bayco set. I actually found them on a co-op site so I didn’t pay full price for them, I think I paid between $2.50 and $3.50 but I believe they are every bit as good as those $30 ones. I am nowhere near where I want to be in the Eco lifestyle but we are on our way.
If you want to start living a life with less waste this is a great opportunity. Most of us are sitting at home and its easier to focus a little extra on being mindful with how we throw things out and learning a little more about recycling. Even making a small change will make a huge difference on the environment. I had no idea where to start but for me starting with what I had was key. You may be stocked up on paper towels and Ziploc bags so by no means do I want you to go out and buy a ton of reuse stuff right now. But at some point you will need to restock that stuff so why not buy reusable replacements?
Think about the amount of money you will save by not buying that stuff over and over again. Also with less waste you wont be filling up that trash can that most of us pay monthly for. We didn’t pay for trash service when we lived in Hawaii but as soon as we moved to Washington state and I got that first trash bill I was over it real quick. I called and had them bring a smaller trash can which is saving me almost $30 per month. That doesn’t sound like a lot but the money adds up. Also, at some point I’m hoping I can go down another trash can size which will save us even more on trash and cash.
I look forward to sharing more with you as we go on this adventure.