How to reduce your waste with no effort while saving your money

Hi everyone,
I am back with another post on pollution. Promise, next one will be a recipe for a change – I know, it’s been a while since I last posted one on my blog!

Redeemed from Capital Rregion Recycling

So here it goes! We live in Mexico City where we can witness a massive TRASH problem and I expect it to be a national concern. People prefer to toss their trash throughout their car windows, on the ground when they are walking instead of making few steps and toss it in a bin. I saw a young woman ditching her ice cream plastic spoon on the floor right in front of me. So appalling… what a lack of basic good manners!
Anyhow, I am not going to elaborate any further here. We are not a perfect family – far from being the ZERO waste family as a matter of fact. But we try hard to reduce our global footprint. We adopted +20 – yes, more than twenty – habits to reduce our waste, effortlessly while saving money.
Do you know that every time you buy a product, you pay an average of 15% for the packaging? The cost of goods of every packaged product includes a packaging cost, that same packaging usually goes straight to the trash. A very efficient tip: visualise the money you are tossing away next time you unwrap something – trust me it helps a lot to adopt some of the following habits…
Now, it is up to the air pollution. Do you know what the collectivities do with our trash? They sort out the collected waste and what cannot be recycled is taken to incinerators generally located out of the city. Burning our waste pollutes the air we are breathing. And we surely don’t need that extra pollution in CDMX.
Some countries have taken some drastic measures. For instance, the BBC announced a single-use plastic ban for 2020 in UK. In France, plastic Qtips have been banned from 1 Januray 2018. In Germany, bottles are returnable. Until Mexico follows the lead of these countries, why don’t we adopt some habits to our scale?
Below are the habits we adopted: 

  1. Reusable bags instead of plastic bags at the supermarket. There are always some bags in our cars.
  2. Always carry a foldable cloth bag for your errands
  3. Grow your own peppermint and verbena plants instead of your usual herbal evening tea bags. They are easy and low maintenance!
  4. Switch to loose tea instead of tea bags and use a stainless steel tea infuser 
  5. Cook more instead of food delivery and take away. Do you know that the grease-proof packaging contains chemicals that could be harmful? It was reported that these kind of packaging contains fluorinated chemicals that can potentially be dangerous as it can leak into the food. 
  6. Say no to straws, called popote here – isn’t it a cute word?  And along the same lines, say no to flyers
  7. Carry your own water bottle when you go out instead of buying bottles outside
  8. Use reusable lid instead of aluminum and plastic foil or simply a plate to cover your bowl

  9. Or use a glass container for your leftover
  10. Use cloth pouch instead of plastic bag to buy your fruits and veggies. You don’t even need to buy them, I am pretty sure you have some at your house. I use a cloth pouch that came with a sleeping bag I bought for my baby years ago; one I got from an organic cosmetic brand …

  11. Use cloth table napkins instead of paper, we bought some at Ikea last summer in France and just recently acquired some linen ones from H&M Home, darker colors for daily use
  12. Stop buying soda and other packaged drinks, they are usually high in sugar and drink water and tea instead. The planet and your health will thank you
  13. Talking about tea, get yourself a nice ceramic cup with a lid and avoid coffee chains. Prepare your own tea at home and go out with it. Congratulations, you just saved 2$ – more or less as it depends on the drink J
  14. Reuse glass jars to shop within bulk places like Botanica Granel I always keep the big jars; I soak them in hot water. The sticker should be easily removed. If it does not, apply some bicarbonate of sodium on the wet sticker and use a not too sharp knife and grate it, very easy and very efficient.
  15. Don’t buy pre-cut fruits and veggies. They already lost most of their vitamins.
  16. Make instead of buy: your own vanilla sugar, your own vanilla extract, your own lemon extract, your own spicy oil, your own spices mix, your own chicken broth, your own quiche dough … If you want me to make a post on what you can easily make yourself at home, let me know!
  17. Reduce your household amount of detergent to only two products: bicarbonate of sodium and white vinegar, white vinegar diluted with half or 2/3 of water as softener
  18. Make your own washing detergent
  19. Adopt cold process soaps to wash your hands, your body, your face, and if your scalp tolerate it your hair but I was told shampoo bars are better for that purpose. I have to say that I switched back to liquid hand soap in our guest bathroom as I think it might not be very hygienic  -_-
  20. Use bicarbonate of sodium water instead of mouthwash. It is even better for your teeth as it helps to balance the acidity in your mouth and fight again cavities
  21. Use coconut oil, ultra fine white clay and a little bit of glycerine as toothpaste
  22. Use a menstrual cup instead of tampons and pads that are very toxic and highly pollutant
  23. And compost!  30% of our total waste can be composted. And those little worms make more wonders, they create a compost tea as you can use as fertiliser (diluted with 2/3 of water). We made our own compost bin. It’s the very beginning but I will make a post only on that subject, as there is a lot to say
What do you think? Can you adopt one or few of these habits?
Have a great day!