Making an effort to reduce the amount of trash you produce directly benefits the environment, but it can also have added benefits for you personally. Waste-reducing alternatives are most often healthier for you, and if you are living within the limited confines of an RV, they take up less space too. Don’t let rubbish weigh you down on your adventures! Reduce trash and waste with these simple tips!
Be A Considerate Consumer
The first step to reducing the amount of waste you produce is reducing consumption. Be cautious and selective of the products that you buy with consideration to the waste that will be left over after they are used. Remember that unpackaged products are most always healthier for you than processed packaged foods.
- Don’t buy one-time-use products like paper plates, styrofoam cups, and plastic silverware.
- Avoid products that utilize single-serving packages such as popsicles and granola bars.
- Whenever possible, buy in bulk. Not only will this reduce trash, but it will save you money too!
- Opt for fresh, unpackaged fruits and veggies from markets and food stands whenever possible, and return egg or berry cartons back to vendors for reuse.
Take some time to prepare before hitting the road by taking foods out of their disposable containers and storing them in reusable plastic containers so you will have less waste to deal with on your journey. Take cereals out of boxes and pour them into bulk bins. Remove meats from their plastic trays and store them in sealable bags. By removing as much of the packaging as possible beforehand, you will have less to throw away on the go.
B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Own Container)
A large amount of the waste that is generated comes from items that mimic the design of containers, but feature flimsy construction that qualifies them as disposable (ie. plastic water bottles, plastic shopping bags, etc.) Combat these frivolous products with reusable containers of your own!
- Skip the need for plastic water bottles, which take hundreds and hundreds of years to degrade, and simply carry around a reusable water bottle instead.
- When buying in bulk, use your own container rather than the plastic bags that grocery stores supply for you.
- If you’re one of those people who always seems to bring home leftovers after eating out at restaurants, bring in your own tupperware container instead of using the disposable take-out containers provided to you.
- Put your trash directly into the trash container rather than using trash bags. You may have to wash out your trash can more often, but this minor inconvenience is worth the reduction in waste, isn't it?
Rather than discard your food scraps and have them contribute to the buildup of landfills, why not compost them and turn them back into good, green earth? Combine your scraps with yard waste and create nutrient-rich soil! If you are living full-time in your RV and don’t really have the land for composting, consider worm composting or vermicomposting, as it is more ideal for small spaces.
By making a few substitutions, you can drastically cut down on the volume of waste that you produce. Not only do these alternatives generate less waste, but most of them are healthier for you too! A few small changes can yield big results in terms of reducing waste.
- Purchase dish soaps and laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
- Use washcloths, old T-shirts, or towels rather than paper towels when cleaning up messes.
- Consider making your own goods. Mix up your own non-toxic cleaners and reuse an already existing spray bottle. If you are traveling with a baby, make your own baby food and avoid having a collection of tiny glass jars pile up in your RV.
- Opt for electronic gadgets that are rechargeable to avoid regularly throwing away batteries.
- Elect to use non-disposable feminine hygiene products which are not only healthier for your body and the environment, but they will also save you money in the long run!
- Make a lifestyle change and start using ‘family cloth’ instead of toilet paper.
- Use cloth diapers rather than disposable ones. Of the billions and billions of diapers in landfills, none of them have ever biodegraded.
- When possible, opt to get written notifications, magazines, and other periodicals online rather than by mail.
By implementing a few of these simple tips, you will reduce the amount of waste that you produce significantly, which means you will have less waste to deal with later. Be sure to recycle any trash that you do accumulate and do your part to keep the environment clean and protected! Do you have any other tips on how to reduce waste? Share them in the comments below and let others know!