Plastic water bottles? Get yourself a reusable water bottle. Plastic food shopping bags? Invest in some canvas bags. Nappies? Try using cloth nappies. You’ll be amazed at how much less waste you’re creating from empty packaging. The only tricky part is remembering your reusables when you’re out and about. For the disposable items you already own, invest time in them by cleaning them out instead of chucking them away.
We all know we should be doing it, yet the UK’s overall recycling rates of everyday waste are below the EU’s target of 50%, despite recycling collections being available at every household in the UK. So why aren’t more people using them? The answer could be that so many of us are still unclear on exactly how to recycle efficiently. Be sure to check in with your local council as well as useful websites such as WRAP, Terracycle and Recycle Now.
Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan
85% of all food waste happens in the home and so often, this can be a result of simply bad timing. Allow yourself time to plan your meals for the week and stock your fridge up accordingly to prevent any food going off and of course to avoid reaching for takeaways.
Making your own items is another great way to cut back on waste (and money.) How about making your own packed lunch or even making your own deodorant? Most household items can be made and in doing so, will save a significant amount of packaging and waste. Despite the extra time required to make your own products, it’s such a rewarding activity that it won’t seem like a chore at all.
Repair – (just like grandma used to!)
Next time your slipper gets a small hole in it, instead of tossing it in the bin, why not grab a needle and thread and stitch it up yourself? Not only will this prevent waste, it’ll also slow you down and hands down will make you appreciate that slipper tenfold more.
Putting food in your regular waste bin sends it to the landfill which makes no sense at all. Not only does it cause harmful gases like methane to escape into the atmosphere, you’re also missing an amazing opportunity to create your own natural fertiliser to feed to your house plants or to use in a garden.
Everything from citrus peels to old newspapers and empty vats of oil can be given a new lease of life. This will reduce waste accumulation and keep your rubbish bin blissfully empty. For instance, citrus peels can be used to create a multi-purpose cleaning spray, old newspapers make wonderful wrapping paper and empty vats of oil can be transformed into the best vases!
Buy Less But Buy Well
Perhaps it’s time to start questioning if you really need that new garden chair or set of side plates. You might want to consider a No Spend Challenge to really try to curb any shopping habits you have. This will ensure that when you do make that purchase, they are high quality or have a lifetime guarantee. Finally, do not underestimate what can be found discarded on the side of the streets… I’ve found some of my favourite furniture this way!