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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

  • LINKwithlove

10 Small Changes

This post is part of a series of posts that I am doing to bring awareness to reducing waste and sending less to the landfill. Although I am being compensated for this project, it in no way effects my thoughts or opinions.

When I first started to think about reducing my contribution to landfills, I honestly was kind of at a loss for where to start.  The big thing that most people think of to do is recycle.  Well, I already recycle, try again (What and how you can recycle generally varies by city.  If you are in Madison, there is a handy guide of what can be recycled and how to do it that can be found here.).  After searching to figure out what the heck the next step is, I couldn’t point my finger to just one thing that will make a big difference.  I then came to the realization that small changes really can make a big difference.  All of the little things that we do can add up to a whole lot of big things in the end.

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the small changes that I have made (and will continue to make) to help reduce my waste.  Most of these ideas I found on the City of Madison Waste Management website.

1) Be more aware of the packaging of products that I buy.  Try to only buy things that are reusable or recyclable.  Extra bonus if it is made out of post-consumer recycled paper or plastic.

2) Buy less.  The less I buy that is not needed, the less that will get wasted.  Simple as that.  If you do buy, make sure that the product is durable and re-usable so that it will last a long time before having to be thrown away.

3) Use a re-usable coffee cup.  I know this is a no-brainer for many people, and in theory it sounds easy to me.  But I always find it hard to remember to bring one!  Question:  If I’m going through the drive through (like at Starbucks), can I still use a re-usable cup? How does that work exactly?

Reusable Mug

4) Clean out dirty jars.  Ok, ok, I know I told you I recycle.  I really do.  However, if I am done with a jar or can that is still grossly dirty, I have a tendency to throw it out – since I know that it can’t be recycled unless it is basically clean.  I need to do better at this.

5) Re-use gift boxes, bags, bows and ribbons. Don’t throw away gift packaging, reuse it for future gifts or craft projects!

6) Use a lunch bag and reusable containers when packing a lunch to bring to work/school instead of baggies or packaging that will be thrown away.

7) Avoid buying single serving or individually wrapped products.  It takes more time and patience to make your own portions, but it wastes a whole lot of packaging if you buy them pre-packaged.

8) Unsubscribe from junk mail and catalogs that you don’t use! Although it is fun to get mail, it is not so fun when your “mail” gets thrown straight into the recycling bin.  Not only is this less hassle for you, but it waste’s less in the long run.

9) Use re-usable bags shopping whenever possible.  If/When you forget, choose a type of bag you know you will reuse in the future.  For me, this means plastic bags that I will reuse to clean the cat litter box as well as for lining small trash cans throughout the house.  It is sometimes difficult to ALWAYS remember re-usable bags when shopping, but if you reuse the bags that you get, at least they are not going straight to the landfill.


10) Give things away to those who will use them instead of throwing them away. Heather mentioned that sharing is a great form of recycling.  And I agree with her.  Whether it is giving things to Goodwill, or friends, if something is in good working condition there is no reason to throw it away.

At the end of the month I will let you all know how I did with these….some are definitely going to be harder than others!!

9 Responses

  1. the big one on this list that i need to improve on is the coffee cup thing. i have a reusable mug….that i keep in a cabinet at home. what good is that when i’m running errands and want coffee? not helpful at all…

    • It is so hard! I have multiple reusable mugs but almost never use them unless I am at home or at work…where I keep them.

      Heather (THS) once said that she keeps a reusable coffee mug in her laptop bag since that often goes the the coffee shop with her, so smart!

      • I do the exact same thing. Need to go to the store tomorrow and buy a mug to keep in the car. Now, the trick is, after I use it, and bring it in to wash, I have to remember to bring back out to the car. 😀

        I need to start using the reusable shopping bags too. That is something quick and easy to do. I have two or three lying around. Thanks for the post and keeping us informed! 😀

        Easy Drop Biscuit Recipe

  2. she IS a smart lady! 🙂 my friend also keeps one in her car. that way, if she’s out & about, she can just run to her car to grab it if she needs to.

    • My main problem is still that I usually go through the drive-through at Starbucks, so I feel like its going to majorly delay the line if they have to wait until I get to the window to get my mug and make my beverage!

      • hmm. that is tricky! and if they make it in a paper cup and then dump it into your to-go mug, it’d be completely against the point.

        you should ask them next time you go in! maybe they have a system in place for that?

  3. Love this!! I’m always looking for ways other than recycling to be green. We don’t have recycling where I live. Lame.

  4. #10 is a tough one for me. I have a coworker who is awesome at finding cool clothes at the thrift store. I have absolutely no patience for wading through the racks and always buy new when I need something.

    • You really have to be in the right mindset to shop at a thrift store. It takes a lot of patience, and you can’t really be looking for anything in particular because who knows what you’ll find!

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