There are many reasons why people start on the journey of a homesteading life. There are some for whom the notion of self-sufficiency is a romantic antidote to the voracious consumerism that plagues the urban living. And there are yet more who are distrusting of intensive modern agriculture; genetically modified crops and animals kept in inhumane conditions. And there are more for whom a homestead represents a more ecologically sound existence that will significantly reduce or even neutralize their carbon footprint; completely sustaining their family without contributing to the frankly unsustainable and often exploitative practices of modern intensive farming. If this is the case then not only will you want to be self-sustaining, you’ll also want to keep a waste-free homestead. Here are some ways in which you can significantly reduce your landfill waste. Only then we can help to make the planet a better place.
Keeping a Waste-Free Homestead
Prepare to invest in some of your overhead at the start
Needless to say, when you’re getting started there are likely to be some overhead costs. These will likely be fairly unavoidable. Indeed it’s possible to homestead with no money whatsoever. But if you want to lay the foundations for a waste-free homestead, you may need to invest in the long-term, reusable or biodegradable equivalents of things that are traditionally regarded as disposable.
And you’d be astonished at how much stuff is traditionally regarded as disposable. Yet there are reusable and biodegradable solutions for virtually everything from stainless steel drinking straws to biodegradable bamboo coffee cups.
While this may require some initial overlay it’s always worth the investment, whatever your credit rating may be. Even if you need to take out a no credit check personal loan, the savings you make will make repayments that much easier. Plus the feeling of knowing that you’re doing all you can to protect the planet is priceless!
Food waste is the easiest form of waste for a homestead to deal with effectively. What isn’t used for pig slop can be used to make compost to help to grow your plants. But these solutions are really just the tip of the iceberg.
There are literally hundreds of uses for household food waste. For starters, a lot of what we consider “waste” like carrot and beet tops or fruit peels can be used to make marmalades, soups, salads or pesto. Meat bones and leftovers can be retained to make stock as can cheese rinds.
What waste we make that can’t be reused can be added to the compost pile. You can even purchase a countertop composter for your kitchen.
Upcycle your clothes
The average American tosses out 82 pounds of textile waste a year. While clothes that have been outgrown can easily be donated, even damaged clothes are rarely unsalvageable. There are many easy and gorgeous ways in which to upcycle your clothes with just a little ingenuity.
Think about giving those unwanted clothes to homeless shelters or to someone who can transform them into other products. Nowadays, people transform old denim jeans into purses, wine bags, and aprons to name a few.
Think hard about packaging
The beauty of homesteading is that you’ll be living and sustaining yourself mostly or even entirely on delicious homegrown foods. That means you’ll be avoiding a whole lot of environmentally damaging food packaging. But you’ll still likely be using packaged products of other sorts.
Usually, a close look at the packaging is all it takes to ascertain whether or not it can be recycled. If it can’t… Don’t buy it. If there’s no alternative, find a way to repurpose or upcycle the packaging. It’s really that simple. Glass jars and plastic containers can be used for storage both inside and outside the home. Even boxes can be reused as paper holders or even toys for children
Don’t forget that making your own cleaning products and toiletries can also enormously reduce your landfill waste. This is just another simple way to have a waste-free homestead.
Gaining and maintaining a waste-free homestead can be a difficult and sometimes expensive process in the beginning. It means investing in your future. It is all about saving the environment and the planet. Knowing what to buy and use and knowing what to do with the unwanted things is half the battle. If you follow these tips, you can have a waste-free homestead too.
What do you do to keep a waste-free homestead? Share your comments in the box below.