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Waste-free living: Recipes for reducing waste, saving money and helping the environment

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Victoria Williamson  | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

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After another full rotation around the Sun, Earth Day came and went. Throughout Chicago, people gathered around at parks to plant trees, grow flowers and celebrate the planet we live on. However, as the increase in waste continues to grow exponentially, with an average person generating about 4.5 pounds of waste a day, the lifetime of the Earth’s resources decreases. To celebrate the Earth, here are some recipes to live a reduced waste lifestyle, with ingredients that cost about the same price as the product you would buy at the store.

“By buying your own ingredients, you make your own products in bulk. This ensures less waste, plus you get to use better ingredients for your body and environment,” Brigit West, an environmental science major, said.

The products in these recipes tend to be more expensive but can be used sparingly so that you only need to buy them once. When you spend more money on things in bulk, it typically costs much less in the long run. By being able to make your own products for both your body and your home, waste can be cut down immensely.

Ingredients like coconut oil are used in almost every one of the products for your body. A jar of coconut oil can cost upwards of $15 but lasts for months. It also saves time, because most of these recipes take less than 10 minutes to make.

“The process of making all of these recipes take (sic) five to 10 minutes each, and they work so well. I made my own deodorant and toothpaste in fall quarter and they have lasted ever since. The products can be expensive but you only need to buy them once,” Victoria Primisch, freshman, said.

To cut down waste even more, make sure the containers you use to store the products are glass. This ensures that you can reuse the containers until they break, and the chemicals used to make plastic do not seep into the finished product. Glass bottles can get somewhat pricey, but many food products come in glass containers. With just warm water and some handmade soap, you can easily reuse the glass. If you need a soap dispenser or spray bottle lid, you can order almost any kind of lid off Amazon for less than $10.

“I typically make my own home products, because for the most part I already have all the ingredients just laying around, needing to be used. You can easily Google how to make, for example, glass cleaner, with the ingredients you have and you can find a recipe. It’s crazy easy and inexpensive,” Sam Simone, freshman, said.

Following are only 10 recipes to easily cut down on waste, but if you want to attempt living a waste-free life, which sounds more difficult than it actually is, you can always turn to Google and popular eco-blogs like Kathryn Kellogg’s Going Zero Waste. Instead of celebrating the Earth one day a year, try to wane off of wasteful, everyday products for the rest of the year.


Body Products

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia


Home Products

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

Victoria Williamson | The DePaulia

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Waste-free living: Recipes for reducing waste, saving money and helping the environment