Long gone are the days when we each had one dustbin, which was collected by muscular men and carried over their shoulders to a vehicle, then emptied manually. Long gone also are the days when we each had one wheelie bin, which was collected by slightly less muscular men and trundled over to a vehicle, then emptied mechanically. We all know why we have different types of bins and perhaps you personally are excellent at recycling, but are you just as good at reducing and reusing?
By using less, you create less wastage. It really is that simple. It doesn’t have to be a case of adopting frugality and letting your family half starve, it’s simply the act of thinking before you buy. Below are some examples.
— Individually wrapped items use more packaging per unit. Try to buy multipack or bulk items when possible. (Please note that this isn’t an excuse to eat a dozen Mars Bars in one sitting.)
— Concentrated products, such as cordial and tinned soup, last longer and use less packaging.
Image courtesy of WRAP UK
Choose items that use recycled content or which have a strong environmental policy, such as planting a tree or donating to a community project in return for your purchase.
— Take bags to the local store and supermarket so that you can reuse them, or buy a rather nifty bag for life.
— Junk mail is annoying and also a huge waste. By putting a (polite) note on your door, you can put a stop to it entirely. You can also sign up to the Mailing Preference Service.
— Visit charity shops for anything from furniture and clothing to gifts and sometimes even food and confectionery. You’ll be helping a worthy cause as well as the planet.
— Use rechargeable batteries. This will also save you a lot of cash over the years.
— The same goes for energy saving bulbs – less waste, more efficient energy usage, plus you only need to change them once a decade!
— Make a packed lunch rather than buying from a shop each day. This is also a good way to be creative and make your midday meal as healthy as possible.
— It may seem like quite an old-fashioned system, but can you borrow an item that you need for a short time from a neighbour, friend or family member? Remember that it doesn’t have to be a one-way process; perhaps they’d like to borrow your drill in return for their hedge trimmer.