How we can reduce the negative environmental impact of the waste created when eating, shopping, cleaning or washing. 60 points where we can do something for the environment through our daily consumption habits.
1. When choosing between similar products, choose the product with less packaging and packaging. Avoid consuming overly packaged products. Remember that you also pay for this packaging, sometimes the price of the packaging is higher than that of the product.
2. In general, cardboard or paper packaging and glass containers are the least harmful. Don’t forget it when you have to choose between products.
3. When shopping, don’t forget to take your shopping cart or cloth or mesh bag with you. Ultimately, you should reuse the bags you’ve already received. Refuse bags you don’t need, even if they insist on giving them to you.
4. Insist that the seller not package the items you purchased unless absolutely necessary.
5. Family-sized products, whatever they are, generate less waste per unit of product. Keep that in mind.
6. Before purchasing, pay close attention to the labeling, which warns about some risks and precautions, but not all dangers!
7. Especially when it comes to paper and cardboard, it is necessary that we put the rule of the three Rs into practice: reduce, reuse and recycle. Let’s avoid the unnecessary consumption of paper and cardboard, reuse the paper and cardboard we have for other purposes and only have to put it in a recycling container when it no longer serves any purpose at all.
8. Refuse the advertising offered to you on the street or invading your mailbox. Register on the so-called “Robinsón List” so that affiliated companies do not send you advertising by mail by writing to the Direct Marketing Association.
9. Papers that are difficult or impossible to recycle (plasticized, waxed, fax, etc.) should only be used if there is no other, less burdensome option.
10. The saying “cheap is expensive” is useful on many occasions. From shoes to home appliances, choose the ones that will last the longest and can be repaired in the event of a breakdown or breakage… and get them repaired if necessary!
11. Return expired medications or medications that you no longer need to the pharmacy.
How to reduce food waste
12. Whenever you can, buy food that is produced as close to your location as possible. You save on packaging and transport.
13. If possible, buy in bulk. This way you avoid unnecessary packaging and choose the quantity of product that best suits your needs.
14. Completely reject foods presented on white cork trays.
15. In many places the tap water is of good quality. Don’t drink bottled water unnecessarily.
16. For drinks and liquids, opt for large containers and, if possible, glass; If it can be returned, the better.
17. Avoid “bricks” and plastic containers as much as possible.
18. Don’t buy anything packaged in PVC bottles.
19. Don’t consume “bottles” of drinks, buy reusable glass bottles.
20. Refuse foods that come in “individual bags” in larger packaging.
21. Declare war on “designer foods”: They are not nutritionally good and are usually over-packaged.
22. Buy fresh food and avoid packaging and containers. Your health, your taste buds and your wallet will thank you.
23. Sometimes the containers (plastic, cans, tetrabric, etc.) say that they are “recyclable”. This only means that they could be recycled, not that they will be.
24. Do not use aluminum foil and “plastic wrap” without meaning and purpose. If possible, reuse them.
25. Avoid microwaveable foods if possible.
How to reduce cleaning waste
26. Use cleaning products without phosphates and surfactants.
27. “Refillable” detergents reduce packaging impact.
28. Cleanliness and “whiteness” will not be improved if more detergent is used than the minimum necessary.
29. When cleaning many surfaces and fabrics, natural or neutral soaps provide optimal results.
30. Fabric softeners are very effective, they shorten the lifespan of clothing and can damage the skin. Do not use them or only use them occasionally.
31. Vinegar is used as a cleaning agent, floor cleaner, color fixer for wool clothing and degreaser.
32. Baking soda and borax are all-purpose detergents and are used to whiten laundry.
33. Avoid buying air fresheners. It’s best to ventilate the rooms and, if necessary, set up scented plants, “potpourris” or vaporizers for essential oils.
How to reduce waste in toiletries and cosmetics
34. Refuse overpackaging. Packaging usually accounts for more than half of the price and is a large source of all kinds of waste.
35. Choose pen presentations (deodorant, shaving cream…) and manual sprayers.
36. Pads and tampons should never end up in the toilet, let alone thrown away in the field or on the beach!
37. Use mild herbal shampoos or neutral soaps for hair.
38. Do not use anti-dandruff products based on selenium sulfide.
39. Use natural or neutral soaps for skin care, they are generally healthier. But don’t buy liquid soap, buy it in bars.
40. To clean your teeth, use a gel based on medicinal plants or, even better, dental perborate.
How to reduce waste when doing DIY
41. Be informed and calculate the amount needed well, you will avoid waste and create unnecessary waste. Opened jars and cans of paint, varnish and other DIY products are difficult and problematic to store.
42. Water-based paints are much less toxic and harmful to the environment. Currently they are available for almost all types of applications.
43. Aerosols waste a lot of product.
44. Apply products with a brush or similar whenever possible.
45. If absolutely necessary, use mechanical guns or sprayers, but never aerosols.
46. Dispose of the waste of these products, including the waste of cleaning brushes, sanding treated surfaces, etc., to “clean places”.
How to reduce waste in batteries
47. If you can avoid it, do not use battery-powered devices. Watches should better be automatic watches and solar calculators.
48. Connect mixed devices (batteries and mains) whenever possible. Remember that battery power costs up to 450 times more than grid-provided power.
49. Use rechargeable batteries. They cost more, but are significantly more profitable in the medium term.
50. Avoid button batteries and, if you must purchase them, choose lithium, zinc-air or silver oxide, which contain no or very little mercury.
51. To dispose of batteries, always dispose of them in containers and collection points.
How to reduce insecticide and herbicide residues
52. Never use aerosols or spray devices for this work.
53. There are many special home remedies for pests on your houseplants that are much more effective than generic insecticides. Turn to folk wisdom.
54. Half a lemon with pickled cloves or a few pots of basil on the window are effective insect repellents.
55. Rubbing insect repellent on your body can cause skin problems and other health problems. It is better to rub yourself with reduced vinegar or, if you prefer, lemon and lavender essential oil mixed with cooking oil.
How to reduce waste in clothing
56. Remember that natural fabrics (wool, cotton, linen …) are much easier to recycle and are less polluting than synthetic fabrics, both in their production and in their transformation into waste.
57. Buy second-hand clothes.
58. Don’t throw away clothes or shoes that are in good condition just because “they are no longer fashionable.”
59. Clothes that no longer fit you may be useful to others. Give it as a gift or donate it to charities.
60. Reuse your useless clothes for other purposes, like kitchen towels or a thousand other things you can do with leftovers.
Ecologists in action