We live in a challenging time but also an incredible time. The issues cannot be ignored, and it is good to be part of this time. I think just by being alive now, we are participants in a grand experiment. Can we cooperate to reduce global warming and plastics/garbage waste and can we solve social issues? It’s an experiment, but failure isn’t really an option, is it? Let’s do it!

Everything happens on a personal level, as in what choices do I make every day? I think we are waking up to that. My motto is a quote that was shared in one of my social media streams, “We don’t need a few people doing waste reduction perfectly, we need a million people doing waste reduction imperfectly.”

Of course those who do it perfectly set good examples, but what I like about this motto is it helps reduce the sense of hopelessness and absurdity that stops us from taking any action. The old, “If you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all,” thought process is not helpful here. Carrying my own bag into the grocery store makes a difference. Think about a million people doing that or even tens of millions (all of California where charging for single-use bags at the store has made a  big difference). We are part of that social evolution, and it matters. And even if it’s just one person, it matters. You never know, you might look so cool and with it with your canvas bag at the store that you inspire someone else to remember their bag next time.

Here are five easy ways I reduce waste and garbage. Maybe you can try them, and also please share your methods in a comment or on Twitter or Facebook. My other social media links are in the sidebar.

  1. Use a food sealer that does jars (and mostly use mason jars not the plastic bags)

    This is a tool that has a compound effect. It reduces using plastic bags and wasting food. When you vacuum your leftovers in a jar, they can last two weeks. Food waste produces methane gas at the dump, and that’s even worse than carbon dioxide.

    Here is the latest version of the machine. I have an older model.
    https://amzn.to/38wBbn5

    Here is the accessory kit for the mason jars:
    https://amzn.to/2NSRW43

    And these vacuum bottle stoppers work great for wine.
    https://amzn.to/2TQYO5z

  2. Make yogurt (and store in vacuum sealed jars)
    I have the Instapot that makes yogurt and once you make a batch, you can keep using your own yogurt as starter. You have to buy milk, but milk cartons break down.
    https://amzn.to/2Glc4aS
  3. Pick up trash
    I use a grabber to pick up trash on the ground, walking with a plastic bag, and throwing everything I collect in a proper garbage can on my way home. I use a grabber like this so my hands don’t get dirty.
    http://bit.ly/2urhRsI
  4. Get a FlyLady mop for picking up dust around the house on one side and mopping with the other side. This goes in the washing machine so you don’t have to use those disposable mops or dry dusters.
    http://shop.flylady.net/p/%28MOP%29
  5. Use parchment paper and rubber bands to cover bowls in the fridge.

Do you have anything you’re doing to reduce waste?