Reducing household waste is such an important factor in becoming more environmentally friendly. Whether your rubbish goes to a landfill in your own country, is shipped off to another country or is incinerated, none are good options for our planet. My trigger for changing our lifestyle was hearing that disposable nappies can take 500 years to breakdown and that even then, they are never fully gone. When we throw away, there isn’t really an away, it’s just away from our homes and when we start to really look at what the items we use are made of, it most definitely opens your eyes.
So, how can you reduce your waste in really simple ways?
Wherever you can, look for a reusable option over a disposable one – coffee cups, wipes, nappies, cotton wool pads, menstrual products, kitchen roll… There are just so many amazing options available on the market and I promise they will save you money in the long term, they will work better (hello reusable wipes!) and they will massively reduce your overall household waste.
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If you can, choose to buy loose fruit and veg, bakery goods, cheese etc by bringing your own bags and containers. If you have a refill shop near to you or can shop at one online, these are fantastic places to get so many food and everyday items packaging free.
Use what you buy
Food waste is a huge issue so by meal planning, using what you buy, using up leftovers, you will helping to reduce harmful methane gases from being emitted from landfill. You can read more on food waste here.
Composting honestly doesn’t need to be tricky, in fact, as a novice myself a couple of years ago I simply followed the basic guidelines and have so far never run into any difficulties. We can now reduce food waste from going into the bin and instead allow it to create something useful. If you choose to hot compost or Bokashi compost you’ll be able to add even more items too. For more on getting started with composting check out my blog here.
To paper receipts, to junk mail, to magazine subscriptions, anything that comes into your house that isn’t needed or wanted as these tend to go straight into the bin.
We can’t avoid all packaging and waste but we can choose to recycle as much as we possibly can. I have a detailed blog post on where you can recycle items in the UK here.
See if anything could be used in different ways instead of sending it to the bin. You may be surprised at how useful some of these so-called single-use items can be. Storage? Arts and crafts? Wrapping gifts? Potting seeds? Have a go and see what you can cleverly repurpose.
Once you get into the flow of doing these regularly they should just naturally become a part of your lifestyle and I bet you’ll be surprised by the fewer visits you’ll be making to your wheelie bin!! Plus you’ll probably save yourself some money too. Win-win!
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