Traditional Household Skills Can Help to Reduce Excessive Waste

As only 30% of Canada’s waste materials are successfully diverted from landfills, Waste Reduction Week has encouraged people to do more to recycle, reuse and reduce the amount of household waste that they produce. One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is to make more use of traditional skills and improve your sewing, culinary and gardening techniques. As well as helping you to express your creativity, by learning how to design your own clothes or produce impressive dishes from scratch, you can lower your environmental impact and save money at the same time.

Sewing to Save The Environment

On average, we each throw out 81 pounds of textiles every year, wasting not only individual clothing items but the resources that were used to make them. Most of the clothing that is thrown away could be recycled or reused, but the rise in fast fashion has made it cheap and easy to simply replace items instead. By taking the time to sew on a missing button or fix a fallen hem, perfectly good clothes can be given new life. With a little more skill and the right equipment for home crafting, you can move on to upcycling clothes or making quilts from scraps of material. As well as keeping good quality textiles out of landfill, you can save money on new clothes, and ensure the items you make are made to measure.

Reducing Food Waste to Cut Costs

It has been estimated that households produce 50% of food waste, and this is costing them $18 a month on average. By learning more about food preparation and trying new recipes, you can find a use for food that is past its best. Planning meals in advance avoids excess food being left to go off in the first place, and means you’ll always have something healthy and tasty to eat without having to rely on processed and packaged food. You can further reduce packaging waste by using home grown vegetables in your recipes. Learning how to make compost means that any food scraps that would otherwise be thrown away can be turned into a nourishing mulch for your garden so completing the cycle of reuse.

Relying on processed food and fast fashion has meant that many people have lost touch with traditional household skills. Often seen as time-consuming and old fashioned, mastering skills such as sewing on a button and cooking from scratch can in fact save time, money, and the environment.

Thanks to Jane Sandwood

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