12 ways to Reduce Waste

by Bruce on February 23, 2012

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Does the thought of reducing waste excite you? Me neither.We know that landfill is harming our environment and our childrens and grand

Reduce Waste

childrens planet.  So what can we do about reducing our waste.

1.     Measure How Much Waste you send to landfill and how much for


The average American produces 4.4lb of waste per day of which half 54% goes to landfill. How do you compare. Once we know where we are. We are then we are in a good position to do something about improving the situation.

2.  Why do You Wish to Reduce Waste?

Reducing waste is the number 7  goal that people set for the New Year. Like to know the others my post Goals for the New Year looks into the 6 most popular and how to keep on track.

Here in the Philippines reducing waste as an economic necessity. With a ‘good’ wage being $4 a day you’re very careful with what you buy and what you throw away. I’ll give some examples, but the result is that Charito and I produce about 2lb of waste a week. What’s your reason? Perhaps so that your grandchildren don’t have a ‘plastic necklace’ when they go swimming in the ocean.

3.     Set up a Group to Reduce Waste.

Setting up a group to reduce waste will increase the chance of success many times over and make the process a lot more enjoyable. This group could be local, or on the internet using a social platform to discuss ways to reduce waste maybe have a challenge. To produce less than 3lbs of waste per person per week. That’s 10% of average and only 1.5Lb of waste or less going to landfill per person per week. That’s the critical figure, landfill. Landfill when properly managed still leeches out and pollutes our water and soil.  If we can, you can too.

4.  Start with the End in Mind

We wish to throw less waste, the easiest and most efficient is not to buy it in the first place. The Filipino buys their eggs without a container. A container costs 6 pesos extra (15 cents). I thought that the eggs would break amongst the rest of the shopping, but they don’t I’ve had 1 break involving 2 eggs in 12 months. Which I think is probably less than I had in the UK. Leave the packaging at the store. In the UK stores are well equipped to recycle, and probably are where you live too.

5.     Buy Less to Waste Less.

Buy less to Waste Less, 8 out of 10 people shop at supermarkets,  and the supermarkets have large marketing departments to entice us to buy more with buy two and get one free. In the Philippines is often buy one and take one, which is a nice ‘take’. the purpose of these offers to get us to buy more.

If we don’t use this extra instead of us saving money it costs us and we finish up throwing it or giving it away.  On average over 1/3 of your food is thrown away. So save money and produce less waste by buying less. Buy the amount you need for a meal. When I left the UK my food bill for the last few weeks was negible as I eat up the meals that I’d frozen. But some were a bit old and had to be thrown. perhaps you might have old frozen food too?

Also by buying less we feel freer as I look into in Life with  One Suitcase and a Laptop, which is all I brought with me to the Philippines, and while having less isn’t for everyone for me it’s been great.

6.   Mineral Water Waste.

You probably know that 90% of the cost of the water is in the packaging and marketing and that 44% of mineral water comes from municipal supplies. To massively cut down waste, if you do use mineral water use large bottles at home, which is cheaper, I pay 35 pesos for 5 gallons (Just under $1) and then have a reusable glass at work, as well as at home. The average office worker throws away 600 plastic cups a year, that’s a lot plastic heading for landfill.

7.     Use Leftovers

Either use leftovers to make another meal or part of, if there’s not enough. Many restaurants specialise in giving  a ‘taste’ of a meal, you can too. Or give the ‘leftovers’ to neighbours or friends. I used to think that was charity, and would feel embrassed to give. I don’t know how you’d feel. But I have found in the Philippines that it’s very practical and friendly way of reducing waste. Most houses have electricity, I live 5 minutes from the popular Alona beach on Panglao, and it’s beautifully rural which means that few people have fridges and in the tropics food doesn’t keep, so we share or give to the hens.

8.  Reusable over Disposable

If you have a small child probably you use forever diapers. You use them once but they stay in landfill forever. When we use ‘disposable nappies’ Which I’m sorry to say we used on our first 3 children I didn’t give much thought to the fact that when bought that’s as small as they get and when used a lot bigger, nor to the fact that each child uses between 8 to 10,000 nappies before being ‘potty trained’ . That’s a lot of landfill for each child.  :)

Reusable appliances or if they have to have batteries, reusable batteries. This area I need to do something about as my mouse uses a lot of battery.

9.     Smaller waste disposal

How big is your trash container, not the one in the house, but the one outside?

When shopping the supermarkets have nice big shopping carts, just made for filling. Use a smaller shopping cart and you will buy less, same goes for trash, use a smaller

Help the Planet Reduce Waste

trash container and you will produce less trash.

10.   Post  and Waste

When I was in the UK I used to get 20 to 30 items a week, of which about 80% would need to be recycled or binned. It doesn’t have to be that way. In the Philippines I have had 20 items of post in a year. 17 of them a weekly magazine

Bills and bank statements are recorded and filed electronically. It takes a bit of effort to get your name off junk mail lists and cancel all those publictions that generally don’t get read, but it’s a very freeing experience.

11.   Reduce Office waste

There are many ways of reducing office waste. Perhaps the biggest is not to print out, No print outs, no storage needed.

12.     Make Reducing Waste FUN:

By making Reducing waste fun you’ll enjoy finding ways to reduce waste and you will do more of it. Involve kids if possible, as we are then educating and having fun at the same time.

So there we have 12 ways to reduce waste. But if you don’t suceeded at first, don’t worry, as my blog ‘To be a Success are you Prepared to Fail’ explains. Perhaps though you you could make 2012 the year when you start making real progress to living the Life of Your Dreams. This Great Goal setting and Planning tool makes that a breeze go check it out.

My Mantra

Live in the moment, it’s a present

Love Greatly and Unconditionally

Laugh at Life’s Challenges, funny things and self


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Life with One Suitcase and a Laptop

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To be a Success are You Prepared to fail

Great Goal Setting and Planning Tool

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Farha March 30, 2012 at 4:14 am

You have got some nice points in notice. Of course most of our waste may consist of things which can be recycled.
Farha recently posted..Are There any Ways to Make Money Writing Over Internet? – Yes There are…!My Profile

Bruce April 1, 2012 at 3:06 am

Hi Farha,
Yes, as you say lots can be recycled, but often aren’t. Which is why I promote producing less waste.
Live, Love, laugh

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