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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Saturday, September 21, 2019

5 Little Ways To Reduce Waste And Even Save Some Money

Sustainable Living
Photo courtesy of on Pexels

Recently, I've absolutely been loving the idea of doing whatever I can to reduce the amount of stuff I'm tossing into the trash bin. Let's be real here for a second, not only is it better for the planet to try to reduce the amount of waste we're producing, even in the smallest of ways, but it can also save you quite a bit of money to cut back on the use of those single-use and disposable products. Sure, it's a lot more convenient to be able to just toss something in the garbage bin, and not have to wash it, find a place to store it, or have to deal with it in any way; but seriously, even if the environmental impact of constantly using and tossing these single-use products right into the trash doesn't really cross your mind, or you're reading this and you're already calling me a "tree-hugger" in your head, I'm sure that if anything, you'd love to be able to save some money in the long run. 

For real though, although many reusable products may initially be a bit pricier than their single-use counterparts, you won't have to keep buying them over and over, or at least not nearly as often if you opt to use reusable items whenever you can. And who can argue with saving money and trips to the store?

5 Little Ways To Reduce Waste And Save Money

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, and I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post. None of the products in this post were sent to me for free, and I am not being compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

1 - Use reusable shopping bags

Reusable bags

So, I know this one sounds very cliche, I mean who hasn't at least heard of this one; especially when a lot of stores actually have reusable bags either near or right at the checkout counter, and you can honestly buy them just about anywhere. Reusable bags come in many sizes, colors, designs, and styles; seriously if you wanted to coordinate your shopping bags to your outfit, you could. There are also a ton of insulated grocery bags available that can help to keep your cold and frozen items cold. Let's also not forget that more often than not, reusable bags are much, much, much sturdier than those awful plastic bags that many stores use; so you won't have to worry as much about heavier items coming right out the bottom of the bag and spilling everywhere! Yet, despite the fact that reusable shopping bags are all-around better than plastic bags, those awful thin plastic shopping bags are still a thing.

I totally get it though, more often than not, reusable bags aren't free, and when you've just bought over $150 worth the groceries (or more depending on your household), you probably don't want to spend even more on however many bags you may need if you don't already have reusable bags ready to use. Especially if you already have them, but managed to forget them in your car or even at home; I get that too, remembering to bring your bags with you probably doesn't cross your mind if you're not used to bringing your own bags to the store. But I do have a few little tricks that you can use to help yourself remember to actually bring them into the store...

How to remember your reusable bags

Bonus Tip - Try to get a little extra use out of the plastic bags you do end up getting!

If, and more than likely when, you do end up getting plastic bags, whether at the store or as packaging to a product you purchased, try to get at least one more use out of them. Those cheap plastic bags and even some of the larger plastic bags that may be used as packaging for a product make great liners for small trash bins before they get tossed, and well-made plastic bags with thicker plastic (as well as paper bags) can actually be folded up nicely, stored, and reused! 

2 - Cut back on the use of paper towels

Cleaning day

I'm not sure how many people are actually guilty of this, but I've been guilty of using a lot of paper towels in the past, and I mean a lot of paper towels. Okay, so I know what you're thinking, aren't paper towels biodegradable though? What's the big deal? True, paper products like paper towels and napkins are biodegradable, and won't end up sitting in a landfill unchanged for who knows how long; but that still doesn't mean that it's necessarily great to overuse them as they're still single-use paper products that aren't even recyclable and I'm sure the trees would thank you if you decided to cut back on the use of paper towels as well. Or if you're not a "tree-hugger", at least your wallet would thank you; as good quality paper towels aren't exactly cheap. 

But seriously, I was using a ton of these things, without even truly realizing it; and I'll be honest, there are times where using paper towels actually made a job take longer than if I had just used a washcloth or towel. Paper towels are certainly not ideal for cleaning up that full glass of water that spilled everywhere; seriously it would be much easier to just use a towel (that can be thrown into the washer) to soak up the mess than to use nearly half a roll of paper towels. Paper towels also aren't the most ideal for dusting or cleaning the house, as they tend to start to break down rather quickly. A soft (and washable) microfiber cloth would actually hold-up, and even help to better trap the dirt. Don't worry if it gets a little stained or dirty, you can always pop it into the wash and it'll pretty much be good as new! Remember, it's a cleaning cloth, it doesn't have to be 100% perfect or pretty, and you can always use old towels and cloths for cleaning big messes if you don't want to stain your newer or nicer ones. 

There is a much better way to cover your food in the microwave

Photo courtesy of Lisa Fotios on Pexels

If you're anything like me, and you like to cover certain foods in the microwave so that they don't splatter everywhere and make a huge mess, you've probably used a ton of paper towels for the process of heating up your food in the microwave. While paper towels are pretty effective at keeping the rest of the microwave clean and splatter-free, they aren't even the best solution for covering your bowl or plate. I don't even know how many times I've lost some of my sauce to the paper towel after placing it over my bowl or plate, or had the paper towel become soaked in broth from my soup (often before even getting it into the microwave). I've even had the paper towel come off my bowl or plate while rotating in the microwave. I could go on and on about how unideal paper towels are for covering food in the microwave, but I think you get the idea.

So now you may be wondering, how am I supposed to keep my food covered in the microwave then?! Well, let me just say that modern technology is amazing; and there are a ton of great products out there that are specifically made for the purpose of covering your food in the microwave and preventing splatters. I personally love the Sistema Microwave Soup Cups [not sponsored or affiliated in any way] that my mom got me for Christmas for things like soup, chili, pasta, and foods like that; as they keep your food completely covered, with a push-tab that allows for ventilation while heating), and they are also great if you're on-the-go. They also have a handle to make them easier to hold as you enjoy your meal while sitting on the couch watching your favorite TV shows!

For covering regular plates and bowls, I like to use an easy-to-clean and reusable cover like these ones [again, not sponsored or affiliated] that are specifically made for the microwave. A lot of these covers even have microwave-safe magnets so you can stick it to the top of the microwave when you're not using it and just pull it down when you need it, so you don't have to worry about storing it!

3 - Avoid using single-use/disposable products when you can

Reusable goods
Photo courtesy of Anna Oliinyk on Unsplash

This ties into the first two points I've made in this post about opting for reusable shopping bags over plastic bags, and using cloths & towels than can be washed and reused rather than paper towels; seriously though, in general, it's better to avoid using products that were pretty much made to just be thrown away, when you can. And these days it seems that there's a reusable, or more eco-friendly alternative, to almost every disposable/single-use product out there; even feminine hygiene products and diapers, but it's 100% up to you just how far you want to go with this. Like I said though, opting for reusable products where you can, and where you're comfortable with, can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run and save you some trips to the store.

I will be honest though, I'm not fully where I want to be with this yet, and I want to expand on the reusable products I use in the future; but for starters, I've long since ditched disposable plates, bowls, cups, and silverware. As much as I don't like doing the dishes, especially since I don't have a dishwasher and have to hand wash every single dish, it really doesn't take that long to just wash them; so why throw money away just to spare a little bit of time? And when it comes to snacks, let's be honest, snack items like chips, pretzels, popcorn, cookies, and treats like that are probably a lot safer in a solid container than in a ziplock bag where they can easily get crushed in your lunchbox; although they do also make reusable snack bags as well if you'd prefer to use a ziplock bag to save some space in your lunchbox. Seriously, I could make a long list of products that are typically disposable that have a reusable and eco-friendly option available; but can I also just say that metal straws are a gem? And let's not forget reusable water bottles!

Don't forget to recycle what you can when you do use single-use items!

I know, I know, literally everyone says this. But seriously, whenever possible, make sure those plastic and glass bottles, as well as soda cans, tin soup cans, cardboard boxes, and whatever else that can be recycled actually makes it to the recycle bin. You may need to check with your local waste collection service to see just what can be recycled in your area, especially when it comes to plastics, as not all collection services accept all types of plastics. Do also note that not everything can go into the recycle bin; styrofoam cups and containers, pizza boxes and other food-soiled paper items, and plastic shopping bags often aren't recyclable.

Recycling tips

You also have the option to get creative with items such as soup cans, bottles, and jars to find a way to repurpose and reuse them!

4 - Avoid impulse buys, or buying things you know you'll only use once

Photo courtesy of Bruce Mars on Pexels

Your wallet will thank you the most for this one, but honestly, I've never seen the point in spending any amount of money on something that I'd only be getting one use out of, or that would quickly end up in a drawer, never to be seen again until I'm cleaning up my space and reorganizing. Whether it's some novelty item I'm seeing everyone playing with on the internet or an outfit that's honestly not even my style but just looks like it would be kinda cool to wear once, I just can't bring myself to spend money on something that I know I'll only get so much use out of. Especially with clothing, and the recent discussions I've heard about how wasteful "fast-fashion" really is.

Admittedly though, I do still enjoy shopping at "fast-fashion" stores like Forever 21 and H&M, as these stores really do sell some super cute clothes that are actually within my price range; but I only purchase items that are already my style, and that I know for a fact I'll wear over and over again; and I always take care of them in the same way that I would care for a pricier item to help them last a lot longer. 

5 - Don't be afraid to donate and go thrifting!

Photo courtesy of Prudence Earl on Unsplash

Let's face it, most, if not all of us have some clothes in our closet that either no longer fit, or are no longer our style, or that we bought on impulse; we also probably have a ton of other items stored somewhere that we don't use, or perhaps don't even want, but also don't want to put in the garbage because there's nothing actually wrong with them. I personally have a hard time throwing perfectly clothes into the garbage, as well as items that aren't broken, even if I don't actually want them anymore. It actually wasn't until recently that I was able to let go of a ton of stuff I no longer wear or use that was just taking up space in my bedroom; but let me tell you, it feels great to not have to wrestle with closet just to find my favorite dress amongst clothes I haven't worn or thought much about since 8th grade, but I'll go more into depth with that in another post. But let's finally get to the point, shall we? If you don't want to throw something away, and there's nothing wrong with it, donate it. Seriously, just donate the decent stuff you don't want anymore and give it a chance to have a second life, rather than sending it straight to the landfill. 

If you'd like to make a little extra cash, you could try to sell the item on an app like LetGo or Poshmark, or in a garage sale; but if you don't want to deal with the hassle of trying to sell all the stuff you no longer want, you can easily drop the items off at just about any thrift store. And while you're there, why not shop around a little bit? You seriously never know what you'll find at the thrift store; you may just find your new favorite dress for a super low price!

Although these may just be rather small steps towards sustainability, every little bit that you can do certainly helps; and at the very least if you cut back on the use of single-use products and the impulse buys, you'll save a lot of money in the long run, which is never a bad thing. Let's be real too, a lot of the time the reusable and eco-friendly option to a single-use item is just better. Not only for the planet but even just as a better option for its purpose all-together.

What are some of your favorite ways to reduce waste, and to practice better sustainability; whether in big ways or little ways? And what are some of your favorite reusable alternatives to products you'd otherwise be tossing and re-buying all the time, or reusable products you'd love to try in the future? I'd love to know!
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
If you liked this post, I'd really appreciate it if you'd help this blog grow and hit the follow button! :)


  1. This post so good! It is so easy to forget reusable bags when going shopping. Also, love the graphics!

    Loren |

    1. Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed this one and that you like the graphics! It really is easy to forget to bring those reusable bags to the store though, it's definitely not the first thing that usually comes to mind before heading out to the store, haha.


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