Waste Reduction Week
House & Home
We spend a large part of our day at home. Small changes to reduce household consumption and improve efficiency can really impact our daily waste. Here are some things you can do at home to reduce waste, conserve water and energy and prevent overconsumption:
- Replace disposable items with reusable ones. For example, buy a reusable coffee filter; replace disposable batteries with rechargeables; use cloth towels instead of paper.
- Start composting—it cuts down household waste by as much as one-third! Composting produces a valuable nutrient-rich product called humus that can make your garden and lawn beautiful and lush. Even people in apartments can compost using compact vermi-culture containers. See our composting page for more information.
- Before you throw it away, think of how you can reuse it! Egg cartons, foil plates, popsicle sticks, yogurt cups, and paper towel rolls make great craft items for schools and daycares. If you sew, use old jeans or curtains to make sturdy reusable shopping bags.
- Recycle whatever and wherever you can - for recycling opportunities in Saskatchewan, see our Recycling Database.
- Make a "no flyer" sign to reduce junk mail delivery, cancel the newspaper while you're on holidays and recycle all paper products.
- Reduce water use by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and while you lather in the shower, and don't flush every time you use the toilet.
- Fix your leaky toilet—it can waste 20-40 litres per hour. Think about replacing it with a new model which uses as little as 6 litres a flush, compared to 18-30 litres for some older ones.
- In the garden, you can spread nutrient-heavy tree trimmings and leaves around the base of plants to keep moisture in and weeds down.
- Water during the coolest parts of the day to cut down on evaporation. Watch your hose for leaks—especially at connection points. Hoses can use up to 30 litres of water per minute!
- Avoid gas-powered garden equipment like lawnmowers, string trimmers and leaf blowers. On a per-engine basis these emit more nitrous oxide, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon pollution than automobiles.
- Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use, use a programmable thermostat, switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, let food cool before refrigerating. Buy an energy efficient appliance when replacing. For more information, see the 2011 EnerGuide Appliance Directory.