Five easy ways to reduce your waste right now (+DIY oat milk!)

Everyday we hear more and more about how we need to make drastic change right now in order to save our environment. The UN released that we have 12 years left to make changes before we are faced with environmental catastrophe. It has been cited that we need to reduce our meat consumption by 90% in order to make an affect on our environment, as animal agriculture is a leading cause for environmental destruction.

Of course, I think this is an attainable step by most people, but I think there are quick and easy steps that don’t take as much of a social shift for you to make. Let’s start hear, and I hope you consider making additional changes so you can help save our plant.

1. Say no to plastic bags

I personally keep a reusable bag folded up in my purse, and often carry a backpack. If I know I'm going grocery shopping I will ensure that I pack reusable bags along with me for my trip. Plastic bags not only are terrible for the environment, our oceans and our wildlife, but are completely unnecessary when you can buy a $1.00 reusable bag. 

Similarly, you may want to become acquainted with the rules of recycling. Separate your paper from your plastic, make full use of your green bin and compost!

2. Meal plan

When you meal plan, you know exactly what you'll have access to in your fridge for the week. This is a great way to ensure you are not over-purchasing products that end up being thrown away. When I first moved into an apartment, I was terrible at knowing how much food to buy. Frequently I would end up throwing away most of my produce because it would go bad.

Meal prep incorporating potato salad, pasta, fruits, veggies, cookies, cliff bars, and candy (lol balance).

Meal prep incorporating potato salad, pasta, fruits, veggies, cookies, cliff bars, and candy (lol balance).

My suggestion is to make a list before you do your grocery shopping. This way, you know exactly what food items you’ll need for the week. You can look at recipes that you will be using for the week and grab exactly what you need! This is what I do most weeks, give or take some snacks along the way as well.

3. Reusable containers

In my opinion, using reusable containers is such an easy way to cut down on your waste. When you’re meal prepping, you can use containers to have your lunches or dinners for the week ready. Check out your local cafes and food establishments - lot’s are now accepting customers to bring their own mugs and containers for food. Stick one in your bag and always have it on you!

Please don’t think you need to go out and buy fancy glass containers that are a million dollars. I find lots of people think they need all the bells and whistles to go waste-free, when it’s really about reusing what you have. In our vegan house, we have a few cupboards just absolutely full of containers that we’ve collected. Salsa containers, olive jars, hummus containers, and anything we can think of. It’s one less piece of glass or plastic in a recycling plant.

4. Go paperless

For the longest time I kept throwing out my bills every month. I felt like this was so wasteful. It was not necessary to constantly have pages upon pages of bills per month. This is an easy switch. It’ll take a few minutes of your time to go into your settings for your banking, phone bills, hydro bills, any bills, really, and change them to paperless. These can then get emailed to you or live within your account that you check monthly. You’re throwing away the paper anyways, why not always have it accessible online?

5. Become friends with your local bulk foods store

Bulk foods stores are becoming increasingly more accepting of people bringing their own containers to the store to load up on bulk foods. Some of these bulk items might include flour, nuts, seeds, and baking ingredients. The way that it works is that you bring your container to the store. The associate will then weigh it and indicate how much your vessel weighs on the lid of your container. You can then gather your bulk food items, bring it to the cash, and have it weighed again. Then, you can go on with your waste-free self and live your life hunny.

One of my favourite go-to recipes gathered at a bulk foods store is making homemade oat milk! Here’s a recipe for the heck of it.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 6.42.23 PM.png

Ingredients

🍶1 cup oats
💦3 cups water
🍃2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Load up on oats, put these ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Use cheese cloth to filter the milk and you’re good to go! You can also heat up the pulp as a porridge.

It wasn’t worth me continuously buying cartons of non-dairy milk just for it to go bad because I hardly drink it! So this is a great solution to a wasteful problem.

We know we must make a change for our environment and we must do it fast. This is the wake up call you’ve been looking for. I hope you take these quick and very easy steps to heart when you’re going about your daily life. We can make personal changes that will have a great affect on our environment in the long run. Let me know what steps you’ve taken to help save our environment!


Thanks for reading! If you'd like to follow along to the blog, click "follow" on Instagram!