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Five simple and effective ways to reduce your waste and help you go green

There has never been a better time to reduce your waste and go green! While it may seem daunting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, a few simple changes can make a bigger impact than you think. Eco Expert Candice Batista walked us through a variety of ways we can live greener no matter how small or large your budget is!

REUSABLE COFFEE/TEA MUGS

Roughly 14 billion cups of coffee are consumed in Canada every year and we have the power to reduce that number just by purchasing a reusable cup! If you’re on a budget, a mason jar is perfect for those that are on-the-go. You most likely already have one at home and it can be wrapped with a cup cover when you’re heading out. If you don’t own one, they’re inexpensive and can be found at the dollar store. Not only can you use this for coffee and tea, but mason jars also work great for leftovers!

If you’re willing to invest a little bit more money, a double insulated mug will completely eliminate the need for disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles.

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Tumbler, $38.99 at Well.ca

FOOD STORAGE

When it comes to packing leftover food, a wide mouth jar is a zero-waste hack! You can bring it with you to restaurants instead of using take-out containers that contribute to landfills.

The investment alternative is to purchase stainless steel containers. We love the ones from Onyx Containers as they can be used to pack kids lunches, travel with or even freeze leftovers. They’re airtight, leakproof and will make storing food a breeze! An investment like this will cut back your plastic bag usage while decreasing your household's plastic waste. From the cupboard to the oven, stainless steel containers can handle anything. You can even use dividers to separate your meal from your snacks!

Onyx Round Divided Airtight, $29.99 at Well.ca

COVER LEFTOVERS

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution to covering your leftovers, use a plate or a bowl! Rather than reaching for unnecessary plastic wrap, cover the food with dishes that you already have in your cupboard.

For those that want to invest in another alternative, beeswax wraps are a fantastic replacement for plastic wrap. They can be reused and made in numerous sizes to fit your plates and bowls. Not only will this reduce your plastic usage, but it will also help make your food last longer. It protects and breathes like nature’s own peel!

Abeego Beeswax Wraps Variety Wrap, $17.99 at Well.ca

PLASTIC CUTLERY

Most of us have a stash of plastic cutlery in our kitchen drawers for things like work lunches and birthday parties. Plastic cutlery is one of the easiest eco-friendly swaps! The budget option is to use what you already have and refrain from collecting any more plastic utensils. While it may be tempting to grab a few extra forks and spoons the next time you’re at a fast-food restaurant, remind yourself how much plastic waste is already out there.

A great investment option is a bamboo travel set. Silverware can be hard to travel with, but bamboo cutlery is light and handy! Best of all, bamboo sets can be inexpensive but will last quite some time.

Ever Eco Bamboo Cutlery Set, $12.95 at Indigo

REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS

To avoid plastic grocery bags, search your house for any reusable bags that you already own. Keep one or two in your car at all times so that even when you need to grab fruits or veggies unexpectedly, you always have a bag with you. You can turn this into a fun and creative activity with your family! Old linen pants or other materials can be repurposed as grocery/shopping bags!

Most grocery stores charge for plastic bags, so instead of putting money towards disposable ones, purchase a reusable bag. The Credo Mesh Bags are natural, sustainable, biodegradable and compostable. You can use them for a beach day or a visit to your local market! They even fold up really small, making it convenient to keep on you and are washable.

Credo Market String Bag, $16 at The Kind Matter Company