If you want to minimize your environmental footprint, there are a couple of small changes you can start with. Here are five simple tips on how to reduce waste both in and away from home.

Using a refillable water bottle, saying no to plastic bags – haven’t we heard these tips enough already? 

Well… no. 

Because I can say that – even as a full-fledged treehugger – I still have to remind myself on a regular basis that little things do matter. (And ignore the naysayers who say they don’t!)

Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t always mean making massive changes. There are still many simple things you can do within your daily routine that will lessen your footprint.

To get you started, here are some of my favourite tips on how to reduce waste at home.

Note that this post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I strive to only feature eco-conscious products and brands.

Switch to Reusables

One of the easiest and most impactful decisions you can make to reduce your waste output is to switch to reusable items. Think about how many water bottles, plastic bags, and one-time containers you use daily.

These single-use items add up, and many of them are non-recyclable, such as foam containers and certain plastics. Simply switching to a travel thermos for your daily coffee or bringing a canvas tote to the grocery store cuts out these unnecessary waste items from your daily routine.

Leaving the house with a few zero waste essentials is a great way to reduce your environmental impact.

Recycle When You Can’t Reuse

When you don’t have a reusable option with you, make sure to always be conscious of what you are and aren’t recycling. People still tend to throw away perfectly good recyclables in the trash simply due to convenience. 

Create a recycling station at home. When out and about, always look for a recycling bins instead of throwing glass, plastic and other recyclables in the trash. You can also do your part to spread the word and help your town or city make recycling easier by starting a recycling program in your community.

When at-home recycling looks this pretty – why wouldn’t you want to do it? (Image Credit: The DIY Mommy)

Need help choosing eco-conscious furniture and decor for your home? That’s what I’m here for!

Compost Organic Materials

Composting is an effective way to keep organic products like food scraps, yard waste, soiled paper and napkins and other items out of the trash. You can even incorporate recyclables like newspaper into different layers of your compost pile. 

Plus, composting is even better for those of us who love to garden (like me!), because you can use your composted materials as high-quality fertilizer once they’ve broken down.

A lot of our household “waste” isn’t even waste at all and can be composted and turned into nutrient rich soil to put in our gardens. (Image Credit: Etsy)

Stop Following Trends

This can actually be a lot harder than it sounds, because the trends that companies and organizations want us to follow are so ingrained in our society it can be difficult to even recognize them. My advice is to always ask yourself “why” before you buy something. As in, “why am I buying this” and “why do I think I need it?”

If you’re buying something because you really do need it, then choose something you know you’ll like for many years to come. It’s also okay to sometimes buy things simply because you love them. But they should be things YOU love, not things social media is telling you to love.

I try not to follow trends and instead buy clothes that I know I’ll like for years to come, like this classic grey dress – which I thrifted, of course.

Donate and Buy Secondhand

Gently used items should go to a new home instead of a landfill through charitable donations. However, make sure you donate smart. Unfortunately, people sometimes treat donation centres as trash depots by giving unusable items. I’ve also heard of individuals using the ability to donate as an excuse to continually buy new things. Which isn’t really the point.

And then when you’re at the thrift store, you should look around of course! We buy pretty much all of our clothes, furniture, decor and electronics secondhand. Aside from the sustainability and affordability factors, I also find thrifted items just way more fun. When everything you buy has a story attached to it, it helps you to appreciate them more.

Throw pillows, blankets, cookware, storage containers – you can find anything secondhand!

If you aren’t sure how to reduce waste in your home, try incorporating these simple lifestyle tips into your daily routine. I promise these small changes are totally worth it.



A stainless steel coffee mug, a bamboo straw, a bamboo fork, a glass jar and green pears sitting on a fabric grocery bag with text 5 simple tips - how to reduce waste at home.

Posted on February 8, 2022

Let’s be treehuggers together!

Oh, and let’s be friends too…

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.


Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I’ll send you my FREE list of “The 8 Best Places to Buy Eco-Conscious Decor Online.”

What on earth is sustainable design? Learn all about this eco-focused design method and read the latest posts about green architecture, interior design and decor.

Sustainable living is more than just a thing treehuggers talk about. It’s about making conscious choices everyday. Read the latest posts on living with the planet’s wellbeing always in mind. 

Visit the Of Houses and Trees sustainable product directory and support brands trying to make a difference in the world.

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

Need help creating the home of your dreams? Care about the planet? You’ve come to the right place! check out my affordable, sustainable e-design services.

Having a had time choosing paint colours? I’ve got you – and your walls – covered with an interior paint palette sure to compliment your home.

Have questions about creating an eco-conscious home? Go ahead – ask me! Sign up for one of my free online interior design consultations and ask me anything you want. 

A living room decorated in a mix of vintage and modern pieces.
5 Simple Tips on How to Reduce Waste at Home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.