New year. New You.. or NEW New Year’s Resolutions! If your new year’s resolution is to reduce household waste and you are looking for some practical and do-able tips to reduce household waste.. look no further!! Though I am by no means perfect when it comes to our household waste, I do see, that compared to our neighbours, our waste is often half of theirs. So we must be doing something right. Having said that, there is plenty room for improvement. Here are some of my personal top tips for reducing household waste!
It assumes that you arleady use a food caddy, as well as recycling your basics such as paper, cardboard and plastics. Remember.. the mantra is REDUCE, REUSE and (then) recycle. It is best to avoid using something in the first place. Do not rely on recycling alone.. but avoid creating the waste!
Paper & Cardboard
1) buy less from amazon – those cardboard boxes are huge and though you can recycle them.. it is best to avoid waste in the first place
Plastics & Packaging
2) This is an obvious one, but really OH SO important – always take a shopping bag with you. If you forget to take it carry things home loose as “punishment” 🤣.. I usually have a shopping canvas bag stashed away in my coat pocket, handbag and car!
3) Only use online food deliveries that have “no plastic bag” option (Tesco’s on the whole is good for this)
4) if affordable get Riverford vegetable deliveries (they recycle their boxes and source more locally than Able and Cole)
5) never ever take a bag for a small purchase in a shop that can fit in your handbag
6) if affordable get milk delivered in glass bottles.. else go for the 4pinters which are cheaper and have less plastic per liter
7) avoid wrapping paper – for birthday parties we use old comics as wrapping paper for my family we have “fabric gift sacks” that we reused (sewn from kids old duvets with cute patterns)
Reducing Food Waste
8) in summer pick blackberries and freeze them, find friends with apple trees – make fruit leather or crumble (and freeze), though stored well, apples can last a long time as is
9) plan meals around what is in the fridge/ needs using to avoid food waste.
10) avoid 2 for 1s unless you can freeze it.. 2 for 1 offers often result in food waste
11) freeze fruit (chopped) that is about to turn and use it for smoothies later. Bananas go weird in freezer but a still great for using in a smoothie or in a banana cake (I currently have 4 (peeled) bananas in the freezer!)
Other tips and tricks to reduce household waste
12) if you have the space and time- use cloth nappies (I used these for both my kids and really worked well for us!)
13) REUSE REUSE REUSE – take all old clothes to he charity shop- if they are beyond wear most charity shops will pass these on for fabric recycling and still get paid (though Merton supposedly now recycled fabric)! We also pass on a lot of toys, books and clothes to friends, family and school! Many items that we have grown tired of, still have a lot of life in them!
14) Take big items to the dump/ recycling centre – staff there will often fish out useful items and repurpose them!
15) Use sites like freecycle – a they are great way to “offload” large items and give them a new lease of life. One man’s waste is another man’s treasure!