Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Our planet is not a waste bin and it’s about time we stop treating it as one. The amount of trash we produce every day is astonishing. The ‘throwaway’ lifestyle that we’re used to is making our environment toxic and unsafe for every living organism on earth.

The plastic we carelessly throw away is killing marine animals. The landfills filled with our trash destroy millions of ecosystems and cause habitat loss. It’s a sad reality that we are defiling our only home.

Adopting eco-friendly lifestyle could be the best solution to our trash problem. A little change in our daily habits can do wonders. Afterall, charity begins at home. But don’t worry, we’re not inviting you to rally any green campaign. These are 8 simple measures you can take to reduce waste in your home and save money as well. Here they are-

1. Carry Your own Baggage

Everyone comes with their own baggage, so do mankind a favour by keeping that baggage with you wherever you go. Carry your own bags, water bottles, coffee cups with you. Try to avoid buying throwaway materials.

Prefer buying things with less packaging because packaging usually contains a lot of plastic and paper.

2. Cook Appropriately

Do not cook too much food. Eating less would not do any harm. Always cook a little less so no food goes to waste. Even if you end up cooking more than you are able to eat, donate the leftover food instead of throwing away.

Nearly one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste each day. That can be avoided if we’re being more careful with our food habits.

3. Put old things to ‘Reuse’

You would be surprised how old things can be turned into useful stuff. For example, old garments can be transformed into cleaning wipes with a little sewing and cutting. And they are a far better option than using paper towels and wet wipes as they can be used again and again.

There are shops and businesses that convert old items into useful stuff like a pencil holder, decorative materials, bird feeder, pots for plants etc.

4. Say No to Disposable Items

The world is obsessed with use and throws materials but it’s not a good habit. Do not use disposable stuff. Many coffee shops give discounts to people who bring their own coffee cups. Whenever you’re ordering food or take away orders, avoid taking plastic cutlery along with it. Single-use plastic is horrendous for the environment as it can’t be recycled.

5. Repair rather than Replace

It’s a usual habit to throw away things if there’s something slightly wrong with it. That mindset needs to be changed. If broken things can be repaired, you can save money as well as reduce waste.

Repair what you can. Old phones, laptops, televisions, and other gadgets produced tonnes of e-waste which is hazardous for health. But they can easily be fixed.

6. Compost Your Food

Instead of throwing away food, let worms take care of it. They convert the food into compost which can improve the fertility of the soil of your garden. Keep a separate space in your garden for leftover food and waste produced while cooking like peels of fruits and veggies.

Composting is a great way of implementing a ‘zero-waste’ lifestyle. What earth produces for you, you can give it back to it.

7. Donate More

Donate what you don’t need. There is no use keeping things piled up in your cupboard, things you don’t ever need. Give it to people in need. There are many people who can’t afford things which are useless to you and the food you waste. So, donate.

8. Stop using Throwaway things

Plastic water bottles are a big no-no. You need to realize that, the stuff you usually throw away, never really goes away. It usually ends up in landfills and worse, oceans polluting the soil and water. Recycling seems like a good option, but not many things are recyclable. So, reduce the number of materials that you throw away.

Next time, take notice of how quickly your trash can is filled up and how many times you have to empty it. Try to reduce that. Only you are responsible for your own trash so live responsibly.