In today’s modern-age, we are all being encouraged to take measures to reduce household waste in our everyday lives. We are regularly being encouraged to recycle and re-use items to help reduce rubbish, however in many cases this is easier said than done. Sadly either due to a lack of recycling resources, knowledge or just because the alternatives are more convenient, many of us find it hard to recycle all of our waste. As many of us are now staying at home, more household waste will put pressure on recycling and waste services.
However, there are a few steps we can take to reduce the excess waste to begin with which means we do not have to take these extra steps when disposing of it. Cromwell Polythene have set out 5 easy tips to help reduce wastage right from the off-set:
Plan your meals before shopping
Food waste is one of the larger forms of household rubbish, with a study showing that UK households throw away 13 billion tonnes of food waste each year. Many of this food is also wrapped in different forms of packaging which is also sadly just disposed of. Food is often thrown away due to the items being expired, unwanted or because you have excess amounts which you do not need. One great and easy way to reduce food waste is to plan your meals before you order online shopping or buy essential supplies. Many people impulse buy and there has been evidence of panic buying, which can result in in people purchasing excess food they do not need and won’t consume. Writing a shopping list is a good start to tackling this issue. Making a weekly meal plan before you shop is also a perfect way to reduce chances of spontaneous purchasing. This will allow you to only buy the items which you need, reducing food waste, packaging waste, time and saving you money! Plan your meals, make a shopping list and then stick to it!
Gardening – grow your own
One of the biggest forms of food waste, is fruit and vegetables. This is often due to their limited shelf life or excessive amounts purchased. A great way to tackle this type of food wastage is to grow your own fruit and vegetables. This is a cheap and easy way to produce your own produce, which is very easy to monitor and control the amount, whilst saving you a trip to the supermarket (often in a vehicle – causing more pollution) and also cutting out the packaging these items also come in! Homegrown produce always taste much nicer too!
Pre-prepare meals for another day
Whilst on the subject of food, let’s talk about dinner and teatimes. As stated earlier we have all been guilty of over shopping, buying too much or simply just forgetting we bought certain food items. Before we know it this food soon reaches its expiry date and a lot of people dispose of it as they will not have the opportunity to eat it.
This is where pre-preparing meals to be frozen is a great way to use up these soon to be out of date foods, whilst reducing food waste and creating quick meals that can be reheated.. This technique will also save you money that would possibly have been spent on a takeaway..
Spend an afternoon, cooking a few recipes that are freezable but most importantly re-heatable and help to save food waste, time and money.
2nd hand buying
One mans trash is another mans treasure! A great saying and an even better initiative to follow. Before buying items new, whether it is clothes, sports equipment, furniture, electrical items etc, always check there isn’t good quality 2nd hand ones being sold right under your nose! Charity shops and car boots are not the only way we can grab ourselves a second hand deal, in the modern ages of the internet and social media, there are many websites (such as Amazon, eBay, Depop) and social media outlets that sell pre-used items.
Stop unwanted mail
We have all been the victims of junk mail, whether this is takeaway menus, unwanted leaflets or unwanted promotional letters. These items go straight from the post box and into the bin (hopefully the recycling bin). You can stop receiving unsolicited advertising mail, by contacting the Mailing Preference Service and Royal Mail. You can also unsubscribe to unwanted newsletters and mailing lists that are sending you letters by mistake or ones you no longer have any interest in, by contacting the company directly. A final way is to add a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker onto your letter box, this will hopefully deter delivery and post-men/women from delivering them.
These 5 easy steps are a great way to reduce waste before it has even been disposed of! Save our planet a few steps at a time!