We all know the 3Rs — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But not everyone knows how to incorporate these eco-friendly routines into our daily lives. We’re here to show you that it’s easy being green. Here are some ways you could make reducing household waste fun for you and your family!
Set up a ‘Recycling Area’ in your home. It doesn’t have to take up much space, a space large enough to fit four trash bins will do. Get creative with the little ones by letting them design the labels ‘paper’, ‘plastic’, ‘metal’ and ‘general’ and start cultivating the habit of recycling!
Deal with Meal Problems
If your little one is constantly wasting food, don’t just let it slip. Food wastage is a pertinent problem in Singapore, with an approximate 2.5kg of food wasted by each household every week. Start cutting down waste by getting the little ones to set aside the the amount of food they can finish before every meal. If they still feel hungry after that, they can go back to the pots and pans for more. Otherwise, you can heat up the leftovers for the next meal. Once you’ve gotten a rough idea of their daily intake, you can tailor the amount of food you cook to your family’s diet, so as not to overcook. Additionally, reduce potential waste by taking a picture of your fridge before heading to the supermarket so that you know what you have and can buy only what you need, preventing potential food wastage (and it saves you money too). If you do not cook, stop overbuying food by communicating the amount of food you need to the stall owners. The hawkers will be more than happy to give you “less rice” or “less noodles” if you ask for it. You may even choose to bring your kids along and get them to order their own food. Remind them to ask for a smaller portion by asking questions like “are you sure you can finish that by yourself?” or “do you need a smaller portion?”. This will cultivate the habit of reducing food wastage.
Be a Smart-Shopper
Ditch the plastic bags and encourage the use of reusable bags whenever possible. The trendy tote bags aren’t only for carrying groceries, but for carrying everything and anything the family buys as well (eg. clothes, toys etc). You may even choose to set up consequences like no new toys unless they bring along their tote bags.
- If your family’s fond of takeaways, invest in proper tupperware and utensils for the family. Bring tupperware containers or a tingkat whenever you are going to takeaway food. Additionally, instead of using those plastic spoons and straws and cheap wooden chopsticks, invest in some reusable, on-the-go bamboo or steel utensils that are better for your health and the environment.
- Don’t buy anything that comes in wasteful single-serving packages.
Invest in quality items. Instead of getting that cheap cable or stack of hangers you know you’ll need to replace in a few months time, fork out a little more for a quality piece that will last a few years and reduce your household waste.
- Use old clothes or rags to clean the house instead of paper towels.
- Encourage your child to use both sides of the paper for drawing to avoid wasting paper.