Squashing the Trashsquatch

Footprints

Today, I want to talk about footprints.  Mine are about a size 6 1/2.  Most people tell me that I have small feet.  But of the women in my family I have the largest footprint.  My mother is a size 6 and my sister, a 5 1/2.

Ok, but really, I am not here to talk about the actual imprints left behind while we walk.  What I really want to talk about is the other footprints we leave behind, the carbon ones.

Over the past few years as I’ve traveled more, I have become more aware of my impact on the world, specifically with how much trash I produce and throw out.  Quite frankly, it is pretty disgusting to think about everything I have thrown away during the 30+ years of my life. Since I can’t do anything about the past, I’m making every effort now to combat the huge carbon footprint that exists in today’s society.

I quickly began thinking of ways that I could reduce my carbon footprint.  What I learned was that not only would I help the environment, but I would also help keep some money in my wallet too.

So what did I do?

I started…

Composting It

After getting a composter for Christmas, I quickly realized how much waste we eliminated from the trashcan.  We used to fill up our trashcan a few times a week and now we were barely even fill it halfway.  Not only can we throw all of the green waste scraps from fruits and vegetables, but we also toss in egg cartons, cardboard boxes, shredded paper, dryer lint and the random newspapers that get dropped off in our driveway. And what better way to eliminate waste by turning it into free and useful fertilizer.  By far, this has been the biggest waste eliminater.

Crushing It

Another way we eliminate waste is with eggs.  When making so many waffles, we definitely have our fair share of egg shells taking up trash space.  But alas, egg shells also have many benefits in gardens. When I have enough, I bake them, then grind them up and sprinkle them all over the garden (totally channeling my inner fairy while doing it).

Ready to be ground up

Reusing It

California made this easy for us since they implemented a plastic bag ban. Rather than be charged 10 cents a bag, we always bring our own bags to the store.  I also reuse the plastic bags for the fruits and veggies, rather than get new ones each week. The bags live in my car so we always have them, and we can sport some of our favorite things while we shop too!

We don’t always shop at TJ’s, but when we do, we bring Vanguard 

Sipping It

It is estimated that over 500 million plastic straws are used every day.  With a lifespan of only 20 minutes,  that’s a lot of waste for not a lot of use.  Because of this, I have gone on a straw ban.  I also use a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Say no more to the one time use cups and straws! Less waste= check! No more money spent on plastic cups and straws= check check!  And they always knock some off the cost of a cup of coffee for bringing my own cup.

Wiping It

Rather than using paper towels or napkins, we have switched over to using washable rags and napkins.  We have a bunch of rags (old t shirts or kitchen towels) that we use to clean. And we also have cotton napkins to use during meals.  Its definitely cut down on our waste and we rarely spend money buying paper goods anymore.

Drying It

I received some dryer balls as a gift and they are awesome.  I haven’t had to spend money on dryer sheets for years now and no more throwing out the sheet after every load.  Just have to pay attention to where they go since they like to crawl up pant legs or arms holes.

Regifting It

The last way that I have cut down on waste is by reusing gift wrap, gift bags and tissue paper.  I keep a small stash from previous gifts that I can use whenever needed.  I can’t say that my gifts are pretty all wrapped up, but my mismatched paper and ribbons serve the purpose.   I have even got my family to start saving gift wrap as well. (This is an old inside joke from my family.  My dad will meticulously cut the tape on a gift, and fold up the paper for future use. It would drive us kids nuts.  Now I appreciate it.  Thanks Dad!! – MrWow)

Summing It Up

In today’s consumerist society, its hard to get away from unnecessary waste since everything comes pre-packaged or wrapped in plastic.  I know there are many things that I can not change, but there are also many that I can.  These are a few of the ways that I have attempted to cut down on my carbon footprint, all the while saving some money too.

I am always open for new ideas. What do you do to reduce yours footprint and expand your wallet?

8 Comments

  • Miss Mazuma September 13, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I can not tell you how much this strikes a cord with me, especially after just moving out of my condo! What I didn’t donate, give away, or sell, the rest had to be trashed. What a waste!! Even as a minimalist, it was shocking to see the amount of useless crap I still had. Ugh… Great lessons learned for the next go around. Also, I always think of cups but never thought of the straw aspect! Smart!! 🙂
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…Spreading the FIREMy Profile

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  • Dad sdollars debts September 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Winning it! Boom. We are gonna start composting soon and had never heard of the egg shell idea, but now am intrigued. Thanks!
    Dad sdollars debts recently posted…Hump Day- September 13, 2017My Profile

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    • Mrs WoW September 13, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      I have really enjoyed composting and making something useful from waste, rather than just throwing it away. The egg shell thing is super easy. I know some people actually put the shells into the composter, but I prefer to just throw it directly into the garden. Good luck when you start composting!

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  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach September 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Nice!!! I still want to compost. It’s amazing (read:sad) how much biodegradable stuff I’m throwing out. And don’t even get me started on paper towels. I know my eco footprint is fairly small overall living in a small place, living close to work, not buying a lot of clothes, etc., but I can always do better! Great examples!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Life and Financial Lessons I’m Learning from a MillennialMy Profile

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    • Mrs WoW September 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      It is really easy and you don’t need a ton of space to do it. I actually get a kick out of composting! And I totally agree with you too, I know that I do some things that are good for the environment, but I’m sure there is still plenty that I could be better about.

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