17 Ways to Reduce Your Waste
Living in lockdown a lot of us – me included – fell into old habits regarding our waste. I thought I would share a 17 ways to reduce your waste post, to remind you how to make some easy changes that can have a lasting impact on the environment.
Reusable Water bottle/Coffee Cup
It’s time to wash out your reusable bottles and coffee cups and get back into the swing of refilling them, rather than buying from the shop. Even at home, I’m trying to switch back to using my reusable water bottle over a glass to create some muscle memory. Worth a shot.
One thing I love to use is reusable storage containers, like Kilner jars and lunchboxes. They look better in the kitchen, and they’re super useful for storing seconds when I batch bake.
Find local zero waste stores
Look into your local area to find your local zero waste stores. As shop reopens, these independents need as much help as they can get. My local is now SWOP and I’m aiming to returning shopping there for reusable products asap.
Buy loose fruit and vegetables
An easy zero waste swap at supermarkets, or your local greengrocers. Buy loose fruit and vegetable – they don’t need to go in plastic bags either! Grab a basket and fill away.
Always carry a tote bag
I can’t believe that as a publishing professional I’m about to admit this – but I’m running out of tote bags. These are brilliant for everyday shopping, for moving house (I know this first hand!) and for one-night staycations to friends and families.
Take plastic lids of bottles before putting them in recycling
A simple reminder: take the plastic lids of bottles before you recycle them! Sometimes this can hinder the recycling process, so it’s best to keep them separate so they can be easily filtered at the recycling plant.
Find out your recycling bin days and stick to them
Learn when your recycling dates are and which bins need to be out, and where. Nearly every council has a recycling bin collection date, and to help them out – and yourself – it’s best to stick to them in advance.
Find your local recycling plant or compost area
For an extra push, particularly if you have a garden and produce garden waste, then find your local recycling plant and compost area. A lot of compostable waste is thrown into the bin and put it into landfill when it could be used at farms, local allotments or simply to reduce waste.
Start composting your food waste
Following on from the above, get a separate caddy for your food waste. Not only does it stop your indoor kitchen bins smelling rank and needing changing more often, it also makes it easier to create compostable waste.
Avoid public transportation as much as possible
As we get back into the swing of life post-lockdown, a good way to reduce waste (even a limited amount) is to avoid public transportation. Also, it limits your time with other people which reduces your risk of catching any kind of illness.
Find alternatives to common household plastic/waste
From period pants, reusable or biodegradable make-up wipes, recyclable deodorant, a reusable razor, home-made face wash, or a bamboo toothbrush. They’re affordable, easy to find online, and now in some case in-store, and when you make the changes they’re done. Simple as that.
Make your own…
Have you ever tried to make your own Hummus, face wash, oil, cleaning products from vinegar etc. It’s easy, fun and good for the environment. I recommend having a go. Find a recipe online and see what you can find.
Stock up on dry goods to limit trips to the store and also buy in bulk
To combine a reduction in travel with shopping in independent stores, buy dry products in bulk. Things like pasta, nuts, rice, granola, cereal and dried fruits are available in zero waste stores and can be purchased in large containers that you can bring yourself and you’re simply charged by weight. I haven’t had to buy cereal or pasta in ages!
Use other materials…
Finding alternatives is a big part of zero waste living. I no longer purchase wrapping paper, instead I use recyclable Kraft paper or newspaper, for cleaning profits I utilise old bottles I had and refill them with new homemade products. Use old clothes for flannels or hand towels in the kitchen. There are so many things you can do to find alternatives to save the environment, costs and waste.
When you’re out and about, particularly as we get back to life post-lockdown remember to say no to things like plastic bags in supermarkets, plastic straws in bars or restaurants, plastic cups or cutlery at outdoor areas etc. We’re out of the habit, but it’s time to return to it.
Save jars and containers you use for other things
You never know when you’ll need them, I always have a spare jar here and there and I always end up finding a use for them. From storing my make-up brushes, to bookmarks, pasta and/or reusable make-up wipes.
Offer food you know you’re not going to eat to Olio or to a food centre
If you have anything spare in your cupboards that you haven’t touched since the beginning of lockdown – so long as it’s not passed it’s sell-by-date – consider giving it to a food app like Olio or to a local food centre that are providing food parcels to those that need them.
Reducing our waste is key to impacting the environment in a positive way, so I hope this post on 17 ways to reduce your waste was helpful.
Living a zero waste life imperfectly, is the perfect way to help the environment. You don’t need to follow all 17 of these things if life gets in the way, but as a start pick five or six and see how you go.