Practical Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste In Your Home: It’s EASY & Can Save You Money Too!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Reducing plastic waste in your home may seem daunting at first. But making small changes can make a big difference and you can save a little money too.  I’m sharing simple & practical ways to cut down on plastic waste!  

How to reduce the plastic trash heading to the landfill. Come see my easy tips to be kind to our Mother Earth & reduce landfill-bound plastic #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Each of us Can Make A Difference Reducing Plastic

Sometimes the very magnitude of the plastic problem makes you wonder “why bother?”. Whelp, there are as many reasons as there are points of view.  But think about it this way: 

“What difference does ONE plastic bottle make?”

…said over 8 BILLION people! 

This speaks to me. Large or small, we can each make a difference in our own homes. As an added bonus it oftentimes saves a little cold, hard cash too!

It's easy to use these tips to save money. #TexasHomesteader

Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

You may wonder: “But how do I even start to reduce plastic in my home?” Well I’m so glad you asked!

Shun Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags – Bring Your Own Bags

Pre-Cycling – Smarter Buying Options Reducing What Comes To Your Home

Easy Homemade Recipes –  No Disposable Containers

Repurposing – Using Something For Other Uses 

Recycling – As A Last Resort

Want to know more? Read on, dear friends.

Shun Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags

This tip has been around a while but can make a huge impact for reducing plastic trash. Many shoppers now shun single-use plastic shopping bags for more eco-friendly reusable options.

Reusable Fabric Bags

My *Reusable Shopping Bags are heavy fabric and have been used for decades. It’s easier to carry groceries in them since the straps fit comfortably over my shoulder for a better weight balance.

Reusable fabric bags replace plastic bag waste. #TexasHomesteader

When I need to clean them I just toss them in the washing machine and they’re ready to go again!

Hand-Made Straw Market Basket

My favorite choice for quick shopping trips is my *Market Basket. I get lots of compliments on this basket and it holds a lot!

I use my handmade shopping basket to carry my grocery purchases without using a disposable plastic shopping bag. #TexasHomesteader

Whatever method you use, ditching single-use plastic shopping bags is a great first step!

Say “NO” To Plastic Water Bottles!

Sure plastic bottles of water have their place. But there are big problems with plastic water bottles:

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, bottled water has different and often lower standards of testing and safety than municipal water supplies.

In a CNN Article we’re warned that more & more studies are finding shocking results of nanoplasics entering the human body. 

There are better (and healthier) options for staying hydrated on the go. If you need to take water with you, opt for filtered water from the faucet in a *Reusable Glass Water Bottle.

Instead of disposable plastic water bottles, opt for glass to keep nanoplastics out of your system.

Pre-Cycling: Not Bringing Plastic Home In The First Place

Now recycling is an important part of reducing waste. So is repurposing. But to me, much more importantly is PRE-Cycling (ie: not bringing it home in the first place.) 

Sometimes all it takes is asking if there are un-wrapped items in the back as I learned recently when visiting my local grocery store. Never hurts to ask!

Broccoli NOT wrapped in plastic. How to reduce the plastic trash heading to the landfill. Come see my easy tips to be kind to our Mother Earth & reduce landfill-bound plastic #TexasHomesteader

PRE-cycling is more important than recycling or repurposing so my sights are always set there first.

Make instead of Buy To Reduce Plastic

There are a few things I’ve learned to make myself instead of buying and this has reduced plastic in my kitchen quite a bit. 

Homemade Yogurt in reusable 1/2-pint single serve glass canning jars

Homemade Corn Tortillas or even Mix-n-Pour Tortillas

Chocolate Crazy Cake (Mix & bake in the same pan)

Decadent Chocolate Brownies   

Fluffy Homemade Pancakes 

Homemade desserts. How to reduce the plastic trash heading to the landfill. Come see my easy tips to be kind to our Mother Earth & reduce landfill-bound plastic #TexasHomesteader

You may not have time to make all your food at home, but making one or two of your faves could yield surprising (and delicious) results.

It will also reduce your plastic waste and save ya a few bucks too. And who doesn’t love homemade??!

Repurposing Plastic To Other Helpful Uses

Living out here means we don’t have the same bulk-food options as someone living in a city with more options available to them.

Oh of course when we trek to a bigger city we always make sure to stop into a bulk store & buy what we need. But most of our shopping is done a little closer to home.

So a bag that contained dry beans, rice or tortillas that I purchased will still come home with me from time to time. When plastic does come into our home I always attempt to repurpose it to another use:

Section off single-serving-sizes of entrees from my cook-once, eat-twice cooking to tuck into the freezer. (I use this handy Canning Jar Lifter Hack to make it easier!)

Mason jar canning jar lifter used to hold reusable zipper plastic bag open for roasted vegetables. #TexasHomesteader

Place Deviled Egg filling ingredients into a repurposed bag, clip the corner and pipe into hollowed egg whites.

Repurposed plastic bag to hold deviled egg ingredients, then cut a corner and pipe into hollowed egg whites. #TexasHomesteader

I cut strips of non-recyclable plastic bags to tie garden plants to a trellis.

Hey you’ve got plastic bags coming into your home, might as well put them to use! (see saving money statement above)

Recycling Is Only The Last Resort

I’m mindful of my purchases and where possible I choose options either without plastic or with the least amount of plastic. But living out here we only have the options that we have.

Oh sure it’d be great to visit the bulk section of a store, loading up my reusable glass jars with bulk purchases. But that’s not possible for us without driving great distances, which would not be an environmentally responsible thing to do either.

How to reduce the plastic trash heading to the landfill. Come see my easy tips to be kind to our Mother Earth & reduce landfill-bound plastic #TexasHomesteader

So I do the best with the options I have. The plastic that does end up here at home not suitable for repurposing is recycled along with other recyclable materials.

But I fully realize that recycling is only the last resort, not a solution.

So there are a few simple ways I’m able to reduce plastic in my home. Y’all know I hate plastic. A LOT. Is our home plastic free? Oh no, of course not. Yeah I’ll push back against plastic waste wherever possible but there’s certainly no perfection here at our Homestead! Is it the same for you?

Reducing plastic is important to me so any extra steps I take are insignificant in my mind. Plus as I said, it’s often a money saver too!

~TxH~

This post categorized in           

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9 thoughts on “Practical Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste In Your Home: It’s EASY & Can Save You Money Too!

  1. Angela DeGroot

    Great Article, helped me stop and think what I do and use and I have definitely made changes over the years and will continue to do more.

    Reply
  2. Candace Ford

    Everyone can do something, none of us can do everything. So just keep on doing as much as you can.

    Reply
  3. Nancy

    I have been looking up patterns for making cloth bags and came across a few interesting ones. One is to go to a coffee shop that grinds their own beans, (I don’t think any other state can compare to Washington for coffee shops) they give the bags away and they can be made into wonderful bags. The other is, and I was actually searching for something like this, is to go to a second hand store and get a sheer curtain. You can make several bags for the fruit and veggies, and they would work for the dry bulk foods, too. They would be light (for the weight), reusable, and washable.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love reusable bags, and I love my handmade basket too for shopping, Nancy. Every single plastic shopping bag you don’t use is one more that doesn’t need to be disposed of – good for you!! Every step we take makes a difference. And I’ve got some of the sheer-curtain bags yo mentioned, they work beautifully. Go for it! ~TxH~

      Reply
  4. Evelyn Edgett

    I wash out and reuse plastic bags all the time. When I was married to ex years ago, he saw me do this, and came completely unglued, forbidding me to ever do it again. The Redneck on the other hand, asked me why I did it, had me explain my process of doing it, saw how much I save by doing it, and said, “Okay baby, go for it!” *SIGH* Cute AND brilliant–I like that in a man!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ugh, it’s so hard when spouses aren’t on the same page #amiright Evelyn?? Good for you for finding your cute, brilliant, on-the-same-page Prince Charming! 🙂 ~TxH~

      Reply
    2. candace

      Cute and brilliant, what a great combo. I’ve got that with the bird man who has lived with me for the past 20 or so years. Not so much my children’s father who said “If God had intended for people to can their own food he would not have invented grocery stores.” He was great in a couple of other ways tho.

      Reply
  5. candace

    Hi,
    Yes, the 3 R’s and of course the first is reduce. Years ago when I had home delivery of the newspaper they started putting it in long skinny plastic bags. I saved them one and all. I gave them to friends who had to pick up after their dogs, I still have some and find uses for them. I also saved paper grocery bags, triple bagged them and we are using paper bags that might be 10 or 12 years old (a little duck tape now and then helps hold them together just fine) We drive about 50 miles once a week for food, supplies, banking, the Good Will stores, etc so we can shop at a store that has a big bulk section and I have saved their plastic produce/bulk bags and reuse them all the time. As you said, anything that had meat in it is not rinseable to me. I have a bazillion cloth bags, people seem to give them to me. They live in the car and only get to come in the house when they have shopping in them. On a related note, when I first started taking my own bags to the store (not just grocery but hardware and everything) I’d forget to put them in the car (they live there now) and or forget to take them into the store. I had to leave my cart full of paid for groceries at the desk, run out to the car for the bags – gaak – It only took a couple of those trips before I could remember to grab the bags. One other thing I have started doing involves olives etc from the olive bar. Now, along with my bags I keep a couple (from my collection of hundreds) of the tubs and the lids with the produce bags that I have saved so whenever I am feeling the need of some goodie off that olive bar I don’t have to add to my collection of those tubs. It all really takes so little effort and if 7.9 billion people even did one little three r activity on the regular maybe we could reduce those big floating islands of plastic trash in the ocean, save a few more sea birds and fish and mammals.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve heard that remembering to bring those reusable bags into the store is a challenge for lots of people, Candace. But good for you for going through the effort of leaving your purchases and going back out to get your bags! I’d think many would just sigh and resign to do better next time but not you – oh no! You did what it took to use ’em! But as you said, that step helped ingrain the habit for you. And I love your zero-waste olive bar solution. Clever woman, you are!! ~TxH~

      Reply

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