How to Reduce Waste in Your Home

how to reduce waste in your home by lilhelper.ca

Making a commitment to reduce waste in your home is one of the best ways to help protect the environment for future generations AKA your little pooper.

Here are some quick tips on how your family can reduce waste in your home!

1. Say “NO” to plastic 

Plastic is one of our most incredible and convenient inventions. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy many of the modern luxuries we use in our daily lives. But it is also a major polluter on land and in our oceans

  • Avoid purchasing products with plastic packaging. Phew, that’s a tongue twister! If you are able to choose, products that do not have any packaging (i.e. loose fruit & vegetables) or products packaged with reusable materials such as glass & metal. It’s hard to avoid especially when this is a common sight in our grocery stores: how to reduce waste in your home - avoid purchasing individually wrapped fruit and vegetables
  • Instead of choosing individually portioned snacks, go with bulk. Those little goldfish packets are so tempting because they’re easy to throw in diaper bags & lunch boxes. But it is just as easy to fill a reusable container with the snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off! BONUS: Buying the bigger sizes is usually the cheaper option so your wallet will thank you too!
  • Remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget them. Every single time. You can still say no to plastic bags if you’re travelling by car! Just load your groceries in your trunk and transfer them to your reusable bags when unloading at home.

2. Buy Second Hand

When you decide to shop second hand, you’re skipping out on all the tags, packaging and resources that go along with brand-new things. Read more about why we think buying second hand (even Lil Helper cloth diapers) is the bee’s knees.

3. Reduce food waste

Growing and shipping food uses a lot of the Earth’s resources. It is estimated that 1/3 of the world’s food is wasted every year. That means the resources that went into producing that food are wasted too.

  • Plan your meals. Not only will this reduce food waste by only shopping for the ingredients you know you will use, it will save you money and time as well! Cooking on the fly can lead to expensive last-minute trips to the corner store for overpriced ingredients. It can mean eating out more often than your wallet would like because you aren’t prepared. Meal planning is easy once you make it apart of your routine.
  • Use scraps to make broth. Vegetable peels and snacks abandoned by your toddler are perfect for making vegetable broth.  Save your meat bones to make delicious, good for your gut bone broth. 
  • Make your own baby food and freeze it. Not only will you have peace of mind knowing exactly what your kid is eating by making it yourself, you’ll also be avoiding all the packaging. Make the baby food ahead of time, pop it in the freezer and only thaw as needed. Baby food will keep in the fridge but it could go to waste if forgotten and uneaten.

half eaten vegetables from a toddler - use in vegetable stock to reduce waste in your home

4. Invest in good quality, reusable water bottles.

If the tap water where you live is clean enough to drink – do it! Bottled water is often just tap water anyway. Make sure to invest in a good quality water bottle to drink from. Don’t go for a cheap reusable water bottle – they will often break or dent easily. Invest in good bottles that will last for your family. You can even have some fun personalising them with permanent markers and stickers! 

5. If you haven’t already, switch to cloth!

Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer item in landfills. Switching to reusable cloth diapers, wipes and liners can greatly reduce waste in your home.

lil helper best cloth diapers trial offer lil helper best cloth diapers trial offer

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How Buying Secondhand Helps Save the Planet

how buying secondhand helps save the planet and fights the fast fashion problem

Do you know the term, “Fast Fashion”? 

“The term “fast fashion” refers to a phenomenon in the fashion industry whereby production processes are expedited in order to get new trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible.” – Investopedia

With new trends being announced every week, cheap prices and constant sales – we are all being pressured to give in to the fast fashion phenomenon. However, it all comes at a very steep cost to the environment and the people who make these clothes.

Why should you care?

  • The clothing industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil. 

  • Fast fashion clothing is designed to fall apart. It is now estimated that American households dispose of 70lbs of textile waste every year. That is waste that will not be recycled or reused, it is going straight to a landfill where it will sit for hundreds of years.

  • The people who make these clothes are often exposed to dangerous chemicals and substances used in the production process

  • Children’s clothing, accessories and toys are all part of the fast fashion problem (and just think about how much more clothing your kid goes through than you do 😱)

fast fashion textile waste
Textile Waste

How to Fight Fast Fashion

The easiest and most affordable way to combat fast fashion is to shop secondhand. Clothing that makes it to secondhand shops are usually of higher quality, as they have survived a lifecycle with their previous owner. Even if you find barely worn or unworn clothing from some of the major brands that are fast fashion offenders at a secondhand shop, you are still giving that piece of clothing a second life, saving it from the landfill and reducing the resources being used and disposed of.

Kids Stuff

Baby, toddler and kids clothing tend to be worn for a shorter period of time than adults because they grow out of them so quickly. That means by the time they make it to a secondhand shop, they’re still in great shape! Once you start shopping secondhand for kids stuff, you’ll notice a distinct lack of cheaper fast fashion brands available. Instead, you’ll find high-quality kids clothing and accessories. Shopping secondhand means you’ll save money, so you might also find that you don’t mind as much when your kid discovers the joys of mud puddles or decides that ketchup is better placed on a shirt than on food.

fast fashion muddy boots

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Secondhand Cloth Diapers

For those who choose to cloth diaper for environmental reasons, purchasing secondhand cloth diapers is a fantastic way to help the planet! Quality made cloth diapers like Lil Helpers are built to last through several cloth diapering journeys and you can often find cloth diapers at secondhand clothing stores. Facebook is full of Buy/Sell/Trade groups for cloth diapers and there’s even one just for Lil Helpers! There are often sweet deals to find on cloth diapers that are in great shape but the leg elastics have become too loose. Thankfully, this is something that is easily fixed at home or by your local seamstress for a small cost.

Donate

Don’t forget to keep the life cycle of your clothing and accessories going. If they aren’t worn beyond repair or have too many stains, donate or sell them! And if they are past the point of resurrection? Cut them up to become household rags or use them to patch other pieces of clothing.

Have you made the switch to shopping secondhand? Comment below to tell us about your experience!