Reducing waste is the vital first step. This saves money and improves efficiency and means we have to spend less time, energy and resources dealing with waste – because there is less of it in the first place.
Step one - avoiding waste production in the first place
Cut down on the packaging
- Choose goods and products that have less packaging when doing the regular shop, such as loose fruit and vegetables; and use a reusable carrier bag
Use reusable nappies
- A significant proportion of our household waste is made up of disposable nappies. Reusable, washable ones can cut down significantly on the waste being sent to landfill.
Keep things for longer
- avoid throwing away items such as disposable cameras, razors, lighters, cutlery and plates. Buy higher quality, longer lasting kitchen utensils, household products and clothing
Cut down on unwanted junk mail
- Register with the Mailing Preference Service to have your name removed from direct mailing lists
Step two - reuse items instead of throwing them away
Reusing and repairing what waste we have is the next important step after reducing our waste.
Increasingly we are becoming a throw away society where items that we no longer need are thrown away when they become slightly damaged or obsolete. Often these items can still be used in another way, fixed or used again by someone else - often giving them the opportunity to own items they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.
You could think about:
- using an ice cream tub as a lunch box
- refilling your printer ink cartridges at one of the many shops that offer this service
- reusing envelopes whenever you can - stick labels over the old address
- using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
- giving items of furniture and household appliances to charities so that they can be reused and given a new lease of life
- Reusing carrier bags or use a cloth bag which can be used again and again when doing your shopping.