Life & Fun

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

As I have shared in the past, Tom’s of Maine is known for its environmentally friendly products, so it only makes sense that they’re celebrating Earth Month with a #LessWasteChallenge. This challenge has a goal of zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine. More than 250 million tons of waste is generated every year in the United States, but this year you can help change that number!

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

Anyone with kids knows that reducing waste is a lot easier said than done, but I’ve come up with a few ideas that help my family reduce waste. Check them out below.

Clean the Toy Box Regularly

A lot of toys have a surprisingly short lifespan. Some toys are classics and can be played with through several developmental stages. Others are great for a much shorter time span. The problem is, the longer you keep a toy around in the bottom of the toy box the less likely you are to be able to resell it or give it away. Unused toys get broken even faster than ones that are in use, and trends change! Reselling, donating, or gifting unused toys (and clothes) prevents them from winding up in a landfill. If you clean through your toy box regularly, you’re much more likely to ensure that a toy finds a good home.

Buy Used When Possible

The flip side of giving away or reselling your unused items is that you can save a lot of money, and save items from the landfill, if you buy used products. Every item of used clothing you buy means one less item that has to be produced.

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

Kids grow so quickly that you can almost always find used clothes for kids in great shape. If your community doesn’t already have one, consider starting a Facebook or real life group for reselling or “free-selling” used items. It’s a great way to build community and help reduce waste. This video on “swaps” has some great ideas for starting a swap group.

Pack Small Lunches

Anyone who has ever volunteered in a school lunchroom knows the same secret, most of the food you pack in a school lunch winds up being thrown away. Kids generally only have about 20 minutes to eat lunch, and their smaller stomachs mean they can’t eat a lot at once.

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

On top of that, they’re usually pretty eager to get outside to recess. Pack less for lunch and plan on a bigger after-school snack.

Use Re-Usable Containers

Another great way to reduce waste when it comes to kids and lunch is to use sandwich boxes, refillable water bottles, and other containers instead of plastic bags. Now, I would not recommend spending a lot of money on these reusable containers as they do tend to go missing, but even if you have to replace them a few times a year, you’ll still be reducing landfill waste, and saving money on plastic bags.

Pay Attention to Your Purchases

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to make sure that you’re supporting businesses and brands that are equally committed to the cause. That’s one of the things I love about Tom’s of Maine products. I know I can trust the ingredients, and also trust that they’re using minimal packaging and doing everything they can to reduce waste.

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

You can take the Tom’s of Maine #LessWasteChallenge pledge by visiting tomsofmaine.com/lesswaste.  While there, learn about how you can participate in the toy recycling program.

5 Tips to Reduce Waste

This post was sponsored, but all ideas are my own.