Each month I’m focusing on a different area of natural living as part of my Going Natural – One Month at a Time series. This month is all about reducing waste. Now don’t go thinking that this will just focus on trash reduction or even recycling. Reducing waste is so much more! We’ll be covering talking about minimalism, up cycling, composting, reducing food waste, and so much more!
I’d like to think that everyone on this planet would understand why reducing waste would be a good thing. Perhaps they do. The problem is that we don’t all practice it. Now sometimes we just can’t focus on that area at the current time but sometimes it’s just because as a society, we are horribly materialistic and wasteful.
It’s true. We are always rushing out to by the newest and brightest thing on the market. We buy things because they are on sale just because it’s on sale and then it sits in our house doing nothing or going bad. Now I’m not pointing the finger, I have my moments of materialism as well and while I’d like to think I use everything we get, I’m sure I’m far from perfect in the “waste not” department as well. To help us get in gear for this series on reducing waste, I’m going to start us out with the benefits! It’s hard to find the motivation to make lifestyle changes if you can’t see the benefits! It’s no different with reducing waste. Thankfully there are quite a few reasons to encourage us to reduce our waste.
The Benefits of Reducing Waste
When it comes to reducing waste, the environment is one of the first benefits that often gets mention. It’s a logical conclusion. If we waste less then less will end up in the landfills. If we buy less (because let’s face it we often do not even need to buy something in the first place) then we tell companies that we do not need their products or less of them. This can mean less manufacturing and in some cases like plastics or products that contain toxins, this means that less of those pollutants are being dumped into our air and water.
Saves You Money
I’m a frugal person. It’s actually one of the reasons why I started living naturally! Reducing waste can help you save money. Now if you keep buying things but find ways of actually using them that will help reduce waste but won’t really save you money. However, if you focus on making use of what you do have that can save you lots! Think about all the food you possibly waste. I’ve seen kitchens that waste at least $100 each month in food that went bad just because it wasn’t managed properly. I don’t know about you but I can think of a lot of things to do with a spare $100 each month!
The less things we have the less time we spend using them or cleaning them. This is particularly true in the minimalism department. If we keep things simple and focus on what we truly need then our days will not be as full with wasting our time on these objects.
Depending on the type of person you are, I suppose creativity could be a pro or a con. However, I’m going to assume that most of you would like to be more creative, to use your brain more, to be the one who made something. Upcycling items allows you to recreate waste into useful objects, less toys cluttering your child’s room means they can get creative by using their imaginations and playing with their few toys thoroughly, not rushing out to buy a whole new meal but rather getting creative with what is left in your kitchen allows you to challenge your cooking skills. Like I said, there are pros and cons to this creativity thing but for the most part I think it’s a benefit we can all appreciate.
As I mentioned above, our society is very materialistic. Sadly with that materialism comes a lack of appreciation for the things that we do have. Now it can be very easy to see that lack of appreciation in certain areas… kids who have rooms packed to the ceiling with toys who only play with a toy for maybe a day before tossing it aside forever is an easy example. However, there’s even a lack of appreciation that we can have for relatively “normal” lifestyles. Do we ever really appreciate the ease of going to the grocery store to pick up food? What about the appreciation for objects that have a longer than a one-time use life?
I’m sure I’m missing at least a few other benefits to reducing our waste. Feel free to add any in the comments below as I’d love to hear them and add them to the list! The point is that we can all benefit from reducing our waste. Some of us might need to focus on this area a lot and others might only need to tweak a few things but there are changes we can all make to reduce our waste and have been lives because of it!
This post is a part of the Going Natural – One Month at a Time. Check out the full info post to learn how you can make natural changes each month so that you are living more naturally by the end of the year!