Today’s Solutions: December 04, 2021

We all want to reduce our personal footprints, and a big part of this is reducing the amount of waste we produce at home. Today we bring you four strategies for reducing waste in commonly-wasteful areas of your life: Electronics, food, bedding, and the garden.

Is it repairable?

A high repairability score means significantly less waste. Whether a household item is fixable or not often translates to whether it ends up in the bin or not. Fixing your stuff is a great way to curb e-waste, which is why France now requires electronic products, such as smartphones and laptops, to have a label indicating a repairability score. Globally, the right-to-repair movement also has been increasingly gaining traction, as more people want to be able to service their own products, instead of always having to buy new ones. If you’re also among those driving the movement forward, websites with repair guides and scores like ifixit.com can be your best friend.

Got extra food?

After noticing that good dining hall food was ending up in the bin at the end of the day, a group of students at the University of Maryland, College Park, created the Food Recovery Network, a nationwide student movement collecting surplus cafeteria food and donating it to hunger-fighting nonprofits. You can learn more about their work and join the movement at foodrecoverynetwork.org.

Fluff flies again

Have a down comforter or pillow that’s reached the end of its life? Find out whether retailers in your area are collecting down for recycling. In recent years, an increasing number of brands have started gathering feathers for new products from reclaimed bedding and apparel. Patagonia, for instance, claims that the practice has significantly reduced its carbon footprint related to insulation.

Put your leaves to good use

There are plenty of benefits to skipping the annual ritual of raking and bagging fall leaves. When left on the ground, autumn foliage serves as shelter and food for beneficial insects and other wildlife, contributing to a balanced ecosystem. Leaves also make for great fertilizer; mow them into your lawn or add them to the compost bin to feed your garden later.

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