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The thought of reducing your household waste can seem like a daunting task. The average UK household produces more than a tonne of waste every year. I mean where do you even start to reduce that amount?
The scary thing is that the amount is increasing by 3% every year. If we keep going at this rate then in 25 years we will double the amount of waste we produce. I don’t know about you but that fact scares me! Anything we can do to reduce that amount is a step in the right direction.
It’s also worth thinking about how to correctly dispose of any waste that you do produce. With the rise in technology, E-waste disposal is particularly important as it can have a massive impact on the environment.
Today I have put together 5 simple ways to reduce your waste right now…
5 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Waste
Use your Leftovers
Eat your Leftovers
For your food waste, one of the easiest ways to reduce your wastage is to reuse your leftovers. Websites like Love Food Hate Waste has a whole section on Best Leftover Food Recipes.
We always use our leftovers. If I know we will eat them within 3 days they go into the fridge, if not I freeze them for another time.
Check Out My: Homemade Potato Crisps
Check Out My: Homemade Chicken Stock
Start a Composter
You could consider starting a composter in your garden. Our local council sell composting kits at very low cost. It’s worth checking with your local council to see if they have a similar scheme.
You can put all your fruit & veg waste, thin cardboard and garden waste into a composter. If you want to take it to the next level you can create a meat composter. That does take a lot more time and effort to get right, though.
Read: Grow your Own Compost
Food waste facts:
‘Here in the UK, millions of us are already doing our bit to use more of the food we buy each week. Between us, we’re saving £3.3 billion a year compared with 2007’ Love Food Hate Waste
Get your Milk Delivered
Although this may seem like a foreign concept to the younger generations out there it wasn’t that long ago that having your milk delivered every day was the norm.
I can still remember the sound of the electric milk float in the mornings and I’m only in my 30’s.
Recently I have seen lots of local home delivery companies popping up. We get our eggs delivered by a local farm. He comes twice a month and as an added bonus takes my used egg boxes away to reuse. Even less waste for us!
Read: Supermarket Free Eggs
We also have a local company that deliver things like tea and biscuits. It’s definitely worth researching what’s available in your area.
There are also nationwide companies such as Milk and More. They deliver milk, bread, eggs and other groceries. It’s worth mentioning that these companies can be a bit expensive, though. So not great for the thrifty minded.
Buy your Fruit & Veg from a Local Market Stall
Small local businesses are often much more open to the idea of Zero Waste. Take along your own reusable produce bags. You can buy them online or if you’re handy with a sewing machine then make your own.
I got mine from Boobalou and love them! Every Monday, after school drop off, I go to a local food stall, armed with my reusable bags and stock up on fruit & veg.
Some items on the stall are still in plastic pots so I tip the contents into my bags. Much to the annoyance of the stall holder no doubt.
You may find that some supermarkets sell fresh produce lose. I know for a fact that our local Lidl has loose nuts. I have found that once you are aware of packaging you start to find places that sell items without it.
Of course the ultimate would be for the supermarkets to reduce packaging in the first place. I fear that is a little while off yet, though.
Why not try it one week and see how much you can buy without any packaging.
Get your Fruit & Veg Delivered
Another option is to get your fruit & veg delivered as well. Find a company that send their products unwrapped in one cardboard box. You can then either reuse the box or put it in your composter.
Say No to Plastic Bags
Most stores in the UK now charge for plastic bags. So not only will you be saving money by taking your own you’ll also reduce the amount of plastic you use. Say goodbye to the overflowing plastic bag draw and hello to jute bags.
A phrase that I hear often is “But I never remember to take my bags with me!” To rectify this you have to get into a better routine. We combat this by unpacking our shopping and then putting the bags straight back into the boot of the car.
That is where the bags live, not stashed away in a cupboard. That way we never forget them when we go to do the shop. The only thing you have to remember then is getting the bags out of the boot before you go into the shop!
According to experts, it takes 21 days to create a new ritual in your life. What you are trying to do is ritualise your shopping experience. Start by having everything you need to perform the task before you leave the house.
Buy a Reusable Coffee Cup
One of the worst culprits for plastic waste in the UK is disposable coffee cups. Instead of contributing to this type of waste why not consider buying a reusable one?
‘Each year over 100 billion single-use coffee cups go to landfill. Most contain plastic or wax so can’t be recycled ever if there were facilities to do so’. Ecoffee
There are loads of great ones out there and they are cheap to buy. I have one from *Ecoffee which I got as a gift from a friend.
Take it with you in your bag when you go out and ask the server to put your drink into it. As a bonus, you may even find that some cafe’s give you a slight discount for using your own cup.
Even if you did one of the switches above you would be on the right road for zero waste. If you have any other simple switch ideas I’d love to hear them.
Interested in reducing your waste further? Why not join in with Zero Waste Week.