There’s so much waste that comes with the modern lifestyle. From packaging to food to discarded mail and so much more, much of that waste lands in landfills where it piles up. But how much waste exactly? According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on average Americans produced 4.48 pounds per person per day in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. That adds up fast.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how my family can reduce the waste we produce. It starts with making smarter choices like avoiding individually packed foods, buying only the fruits and veggies we will eat in a week and choosing bulk bins over prepackaged bags of flour.
We already recycle whatever we can. But we can also reuse things. My daughter, for instance, recently nabbed two clean jars from store-bought marinara to organize her craft supplies.
These scrubby sponges are another way to reuse things. Using netting from a clementines box, I’ve made these to scrub my pots and pans gently after use — and they work well without scratching. These could also be made with the netting backs from garlic or onions and other vegetables.
What you need
— Plain sponges
— Netting from a clementines box or produce netting bag (sometimes potatoes are sold with these)
How to do it
— Gather your materials. I save netting until I am ready to make these.
— Measure your sponge on the netting. You want to make sure that the Smaller pieces of netting, like the netting from the top of a clementine box, may require cutting the sponge in half to have enough netting to tie off.
— Fold the netting around the sponge. I like to have two layers of netting wrapped around so that it stays secure and gets extra scrubbing power. Then tie each end in a simple know.
For more ideas on how to reduce your household waste, visit HelloHomestead.com.
This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s March 2019 issue. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.