5 Ways To Reduce Your Waste
Waste is growing problem, but what happens to our waste? It is generally handled in three ways: it takes up land as landfills, it is burned in incinerators or we pay other countries to take care of it.
Which ever way it is dealt with, it would be of benefit to ourselves, our communities and the environment if we could reduce our waste.
In 2014, UK households produced more than 22,000 tonnes of waste, that is equivalent to 413 kg per person. Each of us could make a difference by taking easy steps to reducing our waste. These simple practices follow the formula of reducing, reusing and then recycling.
1. Consider what you buy
Everything we buy has to end up somewhere. A helpful first step in reducing waste is therefore looking at what we buy. Considering what we buy in terms of waste can help us question whether the amount of waste is worth it. Try and find similar products with either less packaging that lasts longer or can be more easily recycled.
2. Say no to plastic bags
Bring a tote bag when you are shopping. It’s classic advice for a good reason, it is easy to do, it minimises waste and it shows that you care about the growing plastic problem. If you are already doing this you can go to the next level and try and avoid disposable food containers for loose food items. Vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and so on can be bought loose and stored in jars.
3. Get a water bottle
Reuse your old water bottles or get a new one in a solid material. A good quality bottle can last you a long time and save a huge amount of plastic going to the landfill. Fill up your bottle before you leave home and then enjoy your home-bottled water while on the go.
4. Be creative with your food
The average household wastes 20-30% of the food they buy. Food waste can be minimised by using the food that is about to expire first. Treat it as a creative challenge and find recipes for your leftover vegetables. Soups, roasts, curries, omelettes and tortillas are all good recipes to start with.
5. Reuse, donate and recycle
Packaging can be reused in countless ways. Empty jam jars can be reused as food containers if you wash and clean them first. Tins can be reused as flower pots (remember to make a hole in the bottom) or you can donate working items to friends, family or charities. If you have a garden you can also begin composting your food waste at home and create nutritious mulch for your plants.