It is easy to have control over what waste you produce when you are within your own home. We have weighed our waste streams, conducted the No Impact Experiment and over the years focused our efforts on waste reduction in our home and away from the home. It is certainly more difficult to keep your impact minimized when you are at work, on the road, on vacation etc. It isn't that you can't stay green in these situations but it can take more work to be at the same level as when you are at home. Sure it usually means we are carrying garbage home with us but some planning in advance can make this much easier. I think it is also an opportunity to lead by example, walk the walk, spread the crunchy.
Reusable containers - I have a coffee mug and water bottle at work that I use each day, I take my lunch and snacks in reusable containers and I bring my own cutlery. If we travel we take these things with us too. B has reusable snack bags that are great for in the car or when out and about. An opportunity for improvement for us is to take reusable containers when we are getting take out. That can be a focus for us in the future since we are currently not eating any takeout food. I don't get coffee in the morning but for those of you who do try taking your own mug.
Compost and recycle on the go - We have recycling at work so I do not have to bring any of that home but if we are not at home and there is no recycling available I will bring it home. Same goes for composting. I bring a container to work each day for collecting compostables which I then bring home to compost. You don't have to get fancy with how to store and transport your compost. I simply use an old ice cream or cottage cheese container.
Bring your own snacks - It is easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly to bring your own snacks when you are away from home. For quick trips we just bring food for B but for those longer trips I bring a big container full of a variety of snacks for all of us.
Dining out - Food waste is a large contributor to the piles in our landfills so when you are eating at a restaurant if you don't eat everything you order take it home with you. Bonus points if you bring your own takeout containers!
This week is Zero Waste Week and is an opportunity to reflect on your current practices and find opportunities for improvement. What can you do to reduce the impact your waste has when you are not at home? We will be continue to focus on what we are currently doing and ensure we do it 100% of the time. You can see what others are doing by heading over to Reduce Footprints and the Change the World Wednesday Post.
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