4 Simple Ways to Reduce Waste that Will Impress Even Your Most Skeptical Friends

4 Ways to Reduce Waste that Will Impress Your Skeptical Friends.jpg.jpg

Are your skeptical friends still looking at you cross-eyed every time you mention how easy it is to change one or two habits for a huge impact in waste reduction? Do you hear whispers about “the bottled water nazi” as you walk by the lunch table at work? That’s okay! I’m here to help you make reducing waste the popular thing to do in your circle of influence.

I know people get tired of hearing about how they’re trashing the planet.  I actually believe in people first, then planet, which happens to be a lot easier for people here in the Midwest to swallow (we’re a practical folk, you know!). But the great part about taking care not to poison people is that it actually goes hand in hand with caring for the Earth too.  It’s a win-win situation that can end up attracting people to you, rather than repelling them.  It’s all in the way you handle yourself, and how you live by example, instead of standing on a soapbox and preaching.

The next time you show up at a girls night out with your hand-blown glass straw and ultra modern stainless steel take out container, all eyes will be on you.  If you handle the gawking with a measure of the coolness factor, they’ll be putty in your hands and will soon be pestering about where they can get their own reusable gear.

DITCH the unnecessary disposable straws and get a cool reusable one

Reusable Straws are CoolBelieve me when I say that this new habit becomes a lot like showing up to the pool hall with your own handmade pool cue. Suddenly you’re the lucky one and everyone else is nonplussed with the crappy pool cues they snagged when old Joe was finished with it.

Did you know that McDonald’s alone serves over 60 million people per day?  Can you imagine the number of straws laying in the landfill?

It would be so simple to change this absurd scenario with great reusable straws made from safe, renewable materials like bamboo, glass and stainless steel.

TOSS disposable dryer sheets and get some handmade wool dryer balls

Wool Dryer Balls are the BESTIt’s become a favorite pastime of ours to show off our wool dryer balls during news segments and workshops.  We try to keep three in our demo so it doesn’t incite too much giggling as we point them out :-)

But seriously, it’s shocking to see the sheer number of crazy chemicals that are hidden in dryer sheets.  And there’s just no excuse to continue throwing the sheets, their boxes and your money in the trash.  Especially when you know those dangerous fumes are wafting through your house and increasing risk of asthma in your kids.

TELL your favorite restaurant to keep their icky styrofoam to-go boxes and bring your own

Reusable-To-Go-ContainersWho wants their tasty, warm food sitting in that chemical-filled coffin just melding together with styrofoam anyway?  Only cool kids show up to dinner with their own non-toxic takeout containers.

Sure, it draws some attention, but aren’t we often the object of gawking onlookers with our habit of coloring outside the lines anyway?  The people around you will eventually start catching on to the fact that we don’t have to take those polystyrene boxes we’re given and go home quietly.

NO! We won’t go without a fight!

QUIT wasting money with bottled water and plan ahead

Stainless-Steel-Bottles-instead-of-DisposableI know you’ve heard it before.  I feel like a broken record saying over and over.  And yet, here we are many years later and I still see my friends and family buying massive quantities of disposable water in the name of convenience (hello Husband-o-Mine, are you listening?!).   I understand that it takes some extra preparation, but it’s worth a little bit of planning to reduce waste and save our oceans and wildlife!

Just to be clear, we get something out of this deal too.  When we save a bunch of money like this, we get more leeway on satisfying that sneaky little reusable water bottle buying habit we have.  Am I right?  I happen to *need* various bottle styles for the different activities I have going on: the glass one with tea infuser for long meetings, the glass one with the silicone sleeve for hiking on the trail, the super durable insulated stainless steel one for keeping my drink cold while camping at the lake (it gets banged around a lot, you know?), and last but not least – the single walled stainless steel one for heating over an open campfire.

All that for pennies on the dollar, while saving loads and loads of plastic trash that will NEVER disappear!

Yep. I think even your skeptical un-green friends will even be impressed.  Are you ready to get started? Get more great ideas from the Green Sisterhood during our Earth Month Blog Party:


Almost all the Truth
Eco-Novice: Going Green Gradually
Green 4 U
Green Talk
Greening of Westford
Jen and Joey goes Green

photo credit: flickr4jazz via photopin cc
photo credit: looseends via photopin cc

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Alicia Voorhies is a Registered Nurse who decided to take a break to relax and enjoy her young kids after 13 years of working with disabled adults. She began to explore the world of alternative health ideas and was immediately attracted to the mysteries of endocrine disruptors and their effect on children. In 2007 she founded The Soft Landing along with her mom and sisters to help parents provide a safe, natural home for their children without drowning in an overwhelming sea of information.

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