4 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste on Your Homestead
Reducing waste is one of those “feel good” things people like to do. On our homestead, reducing waste is a way of life. We have a profound relationship with the earth and try to not hurt it with our carbon footprints. I have always been this type of person. I remember planting trees every year, as a child, on Earth Day. I have been on Adopt-A-Highway clean-up crews, collected things to recycle in my neighborhood and continue to find numerous ways to save my family a trip to the dump.
Here is my newest list of waste reducing ideas for your homestead:
1) Real napkins! I received some awesome cloth napkins as a Christmas gift. Wow! What a difference in how quickly the trash fills up. We used to use paper towels for a quick clean-up. Cloth napkins may add a bit to the laundry pile, but I feel so much better about my relationship with hand and face wiping.
2) Save toilet paper rolls! We use these paper gems for everything! From school or craft projects to fire-starters to “the coolest toy ever”, toilet paper rolls are meant to be saved.
3) Compost. I mean, you already knew that. We have a dump bowl on our counter top that is a catch all for anything organic that can be tossed onto our compost pile. We made some extremely rich soil last summer and I plan on making much, much more with all that we have been adding to compost this winter. Our garden will love us for this healthy waste.
4) Recycle or up cycle! Seriously, my new favorite thing to do is to make really awesome things from junk (here is one of our upcycled gift projects). In addition, all the homemade products that I make for our home remain in permanent containers. I hate the thought of purchasing harsh, chemical cleaners that I have to throw the bottle away when it is gone, only to purchase another bottle which starts the vicious cycle of adding waste to our homestead. My goal for this year is to never have any recycling to bring to the dump because all of my food will be in canning jars, my cleaners and detergents will be in their permanent containers and all other disposable items will be made into some kind of craft or science project.
Bonus tip if you have a baby in diapers…use cloth diapers. I just started doing this with my second child. I did it for a few weeks with my first, but gave it up quickly when I had to return to work. It was easier for her caretakers. Now that all four of us are home full-time, I quickly picked back up the hard work of cloth diapering a child. It is well worth it though. It will save us numerous trips to the dump and we will be spending less on disposable diapers. Thank goodness.