Effective Ways For Waste Management At Home
Did you know that India produces about 60 million tonnes of garbage every single day? And that’s not even counting the millions of tonnes of medical waste that’s been generated throughout the pandemic! If that doesn’t shock you into taking action, we don’t know what will.In the 21st century, it’s more and more essential to take the proper steps towards sustainability and taking care of the only planet we have, and that begins with simple waste management at home.
From separating dry waste and wet waste to overall household waste management, there are many little things that you can do every single day to reduce waste, help the environment, and make a better life for yourself. Read on for our practical and straightforward tips on how to start waste management at home.
1. Waste Segregation
This is the easiest thing to implement, and if you haven’t already, what are you waiting for? Waste segregation is a small but crucial first step towards household waste management. Simply buy bifurcated dustbins, or just have two dustbins! It’s that easy. More and more cities are now making it mandatory to have waste segregation begin at home.
You can divide your waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. This is often called dry waste and wet waste. The wet waste will comprise leftover food, vegetable peels, eggshells, tea leaves and more that can later be used for composting. Dry waste will be your plastics, cellophane, wrappers, food packaging, etc. — anything that didn’t come from the Earth and can’t go back.
Waste segregation is significant because it reduces the burden on landfills that are already overflowing and reduces pollution.
2. Say No To Plastic
One of the more deceptively simple ways to manage waste is to say goodbye to plastic very firmly. Many cities have already adopted the ‘no plastic straws or bags’ rules, but for proper waste management at home, you’ll have to make a few lifestyle changes. Do a little digging, and you’ll realise that most of it come from the kitchen or the bathroom!
Maybe it would help if you knew that one plastic bottle takes up to 1,000 years to decompose? Plus, it releases greenhouse gases; do you want that in the air you breathe? The only way to combat this is to find alternatives that work for you. Here are a few examples of easy, beginner hacks for waste management at home:
- Instead of plastic bags, make sure you have a handy cloth bag ready for groceries etc.
- Switch up those plastic ball pens for ink pens
- Stop buying plastic cups
- Switch to eco-friendly pads, or use a menstrual cup
- Sip your drinks instead of using a straw — or buy reusable straws and keep them close
- Buy more food in bulk instead of repeatedly purchasing small plastic packets
- Avoid face wash, toothpaste or other items with ‘polypropylene’ or ‘polyethene’ on the ingredients list
- Stop buying disposable razors
- Stop littering
- Switch to biodegradable garbage bags; they’re readily available and affordable.
3. Say No To Paper Too
We bet you didn’t see this one coming! When it comes to waste management, just waste segregation or minimal use of plastics isn’t enough. We wish it weren’t so, but unfortunately, we’ve let this carry on for too long, so drastic measure have to be taken.
Paper waste accounts for over 30 per cent of waste that is dumped into landfills! Again, there are simple ways to manage waste generated from paper; all it takes is a little bit of effort and a lot of concern for the planet. Here’s how you can get started:
- Use old clothes to clean around the house, and say no to paper towels or paper napkins
- Switch to kitchen towels instead of kitchen rolls in the kitchen
- Don’t use paper plates for house parties or get-togethers. You’ll find plenty of eco-friendly, cheaper options for both plates and cutlery
- Don’t print anything unless you have to
- Switch to digital banks like digibank, which allows you to conduct all your banking affairs on the phone. Say goodbye to cheques and hello to digital transactions
- If you’re reading all your news online, you don’t need a daily newspaper. Or, switch to just one newspaper subscription per house
- Stop using post-its when you have enough options to take notes on your phone or any device
- If you are photocopying something, use both sides of the paper
4. Upcycling & Repurposing
This is possibly the most difficult to get used to since it involves a change in mindset and lifestyle. Think back to the older generations who never wasted anything if they could help it and take your clues from them. It’s easy to switch over to items that are refillable, like printer cartridges or hand wash. Slightly more time consuming but more rewarding are things like reusing the cardboard from toilet paper rolls, upcycling old bottles and mugs into lights or lamps, or even making art out of old plastic bottles.
The possibilities are endless, all it takes is the will, and you’ll find the way!
Who knew waste management at home would be so easy? It’s simply a matter of starting with waste segregation — i.e., separating dry waste and wet waste, then thinking differently about the things you use every day, and eventually always sparing a moment to consider your daily actions have on the planet.