Tips for recycling and reducing waste


Most of us are keen to reduce waste – whether that’s to help the environment, cut our outgoings, or a little of both! Happily, there are plenty of simple and effective measures that you can implement to cut down on your household waste and carbon footprint at the same – and many require only minimal effort or planning.
Begin to separate your rubbish
Most councils now insist on this for recycling purposes, and you can make the process easier by investing in separate recycling bins or bags in your kitchen waste area. Some manufacturers make excellent narrow models which fit under the sink for minimum hassle. Use the bags provided or buy eco-friendly and biodegradable bags.

Start a compost heap
Why not make use of your food peelings and scraps by creating a compost heap? Again, many councils will provide a composter, or you can make you own. The compost heap will take fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds and much more besides. Rather than throw these nitrogen-rich items away, you can transform them into rich compost to benefit your garden soil – saving you both money and waste.

Think before you buy
Try to make a shopping list before you head out to buy your groceries, and make sure you only buy what’s on it. Resist two-for-one or ‘BOGOF’ deals which usually lead to waste. Think very carefully about promotional items and whether you will use them. Remember that shops employ retail consultants to manipulate our entire shopping experiences, so you need to be smart to avoid buying potentially unnecessary items that will never be used! Online shopping can be good as it tends to limit impulse buying and it also saves time, especially if you save a typical order.

Have a big clear out

A cluttered home is often a stressful home, so why not have a big clear out and ensure that everything that remains is used and appreciated? Tackle each room in turn, putting things that you no longer need, but that someone else might like, out for a charity shop collection. If you have a lot of materials, such as building or garden waste, try hiring a skip from to tackle everything at once. From this point, resolve to stop buying things that you don’t need, and have a policy of only buying a replacement when the original item is close to the end of its useful life.

Cook more
One of the best ways to avoid food waste is simply to cook more. Find innovative ways to ensure that nothing in your fridge or cupboards ends up in the bin – and set yourself targets. Remember that old vegetables rediscover their flavour and goodness in a warming soup, or you can whizz vegetable extras into pasta sauces and casseroles. For slightly soft fruit, try making smoothies and juices. Sour milk makes a great base for old-fashioned scones and baking is often far less wasteful than buying commercial alternatives.

Get active
Finally, turn down the heating and move around more. Forget your car and walk or cycle – you’ll get fit and reduce costs and energy waste simultaneously!

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