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From the Colonel - January 2020 edition - Tips to Reduce Waste
Dated: January 10 2020
With the recent focus on eco-friendly and green, I thought I would take the time in the new year to talk about some ways we all can positively impact our local environment.
Tips to Reduce Waste
DITCH THE STRAW. When you order a drink at a restaurant or bar, simply ask them not to bring a straw. That tiny piece of plastic might seem insignificant, but imagine how many straws you’d spare over the course of a year through brunches, lunches, dinners, and cocktails. What about over a lifetime? Small things add up, and most of them end up in the ocean or in a landfill. Skip the straw altogether or invest in a chic tempered glass or metal straw.
BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP. Calling it quits with your cafe-made coffee habit can help save a ton of waste over time, and frankly, a ton of money too. We understand if you just can’t live without that daily cap from your favorite local spot. Instead, simply bring your own travel tumbler and ditch the paper cups, plastic lids, and cardboard sleeves.
BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE. Get yourself a reusable bottle you love and fill her up. Disposable plastic bottles, most of which don’t make it to the recycling bin, make up a massive percent of landfills. By the same logic as rejecting straws, making the small move to having your own water bottle at the gym, the beach, or the office, can add up over time. Our tip: get one you can’t wait to sip from. Not only is this hydrating habit healthy, but it’ll keep you from leaving it places and having to buy a million replacements.
TOTE A TOTE. Bringing your own bags to the grocery store is a simple way to reduce waste, but make it a point to remember to actually do it. You can also bring cute mesh satchels to buy certain ingredients in bulk. For things you use all the time like oats, lentils, quinoa, skip the pre-packaged version. You’ll save the cumulative waste from re-buying, and save money too because you’re not paying for packaging or branding. Skip the plastic bags when you’re collecting fruits and veggies and throw them into a cute woven sack instead.
BUY A BAMBOO BRUSH. Replace your plastic toothbrush with something just as functional but more eco-friendly, like a bamboo toothbrush. According to a leading publication, “Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are used each year. Because they are not recyclable, they end up floating in a landfill forever. By making one simple change from plastic toothbrushes to compostable bamboo ones you are not only doing yourself a favor (bamboo is naturally antimicrobial), but you are also doing the environment a solid because when you are done with the brush you can compost it. Not an ounce of trash is produced.”
MIX YOUR OWN BASICS. Most of us go through so many plastic bottles of counter cleaner yearly it’s absurd. Making your own is ridiculously easy and inexpensive, as all it takes is vinegar and water and whatever extra add-in you read about online. Go ahead and keep a commercial bottle on-hand for those deep cleaning days, but for daily wipe ups, this recipe is completely effective — and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. You can take this approach for other things you buy all the time, like nut butter or nut milk. You can easily make coconut yogurt too.
TURN SCRAPS TO STOCK. If you have the fruit of veggie scraps from cooking, put them in a freezer bag and make stock with them later. It’s virtually impossible to mess it up when you follow the basic steps. Use stock to make soup or to help cook and enhance the flavor of your dishes. Try adding stock to the sauce, using it when you make grains or just sipping on it plain. Similarly, if you have a bunch of farmers market berries that are about to go bad, transform them into a quick jam or preserve them for your future self. If you have fresh herbs that are wilting, blend them up with some grass-fed butter, roll it into a tube and pop it into the freezer. Slices off discs and use it in your home cooking.
EDIT YOUR BELONGINGS. This is the most important shift for starting to get serious about low waste living. When we have less, we’re willing to spend on better quality. We’re also aware of what we use, what we need, and what’s simply extra — aka wasteful. Donate your clothes and keep a wardrobe of things you love to shop less. Don’t overload your makeup drawer, it makes you feel like you have to keep up with the sense of abundance. Be mindful of how you live and what you use, and look for little ways to buy less.
Don’t forget that when it comes to Real Estate, “Dan’s The Man”. Please let me know if I can help you with anything!
Fathom Realty, Chapin SC
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Dan Lang is a realtor/broker in Chapin, South Carolina. Dan retired after 29 years of service in the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has personally moved more than a dozen times during his ca....
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With the recent focus on eco-friendly and green, I thought I would take the time in the new year to talk about some ways we all can positively impact our local environment. Tips to Reduce