Reduce and prevent waste production
- Only buy what you need: Plan your meals at the start of the week to make sure that you only buy what you need so that you can reduce your weekly shop and avoid producing unnecessary waste in the first place. Check the ‘Use By’ dates on items in your cupboard and fridge when you make your weekly meal plan to make sure you are prioritising using up the food products that may be close to going off when you cook.
- Avoid items with plastic packaging: Buying loose fruit and vegetables and buying in bulk can help to reduce the plastic packaging from your weekly shop. Many supermarkets now sell reusable drawstring bags that can be used for fruit and vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers and onions. Buying loose items can also help you to only buy the amount of something that you need, reducing the amount you spend on your shopping.
- ·Make do and mend: Have a go at mending broken furniture and clothes rather than throwing them out to reduce the waste that you produce. There are lots of YouTube videos and other content online to help you brush up your DIY or sewing skills to fix your broken items, reducing the need to fork out for new items as soon as something breaks.
- Get your milk delivered: Milk delivered by a milkman is usually delivered in glass bottles that are then collected when the next order is delivered. You can use the Find Me a Milkman website to look for a milk and dairy business in your area. Having your milk delivered avoids the need to buy plastic milk cartons and means that your milk bottles are reused over and over again, reducing the impact of your milk packaging.
- Use reusables wherever possible: Carry a reusable water bottle, cup and grocery bag with you and avoid using single-use, disposable items, while also benefitting from reduced prices on beverages for using a reusable cup in many coffeeshops.
- Rent rather than buy: If you only need items such as electrical appliances for a particular task or event, you could save money and waste through renting rather than buying what you need by checking your local Library of Things or other reuse schemes.
- Shop secondhand: Give secondhand items a new lease of life by looking in your local charity shop or looking online on secondhand retail platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Vinted and eBay, for items that you need before buying something new. You can often bag a bargain whilst also reducing the impact of your purchases by going for secondhand.
- Upcycle: Repurpose or upcycle your waste wherever possible. Reuse glass, plastic and cardboard containers for other purpose and give them a new lease of life. The internet is a treasure trove of ideas for how you could get creative and crafty about upcycling your waste. For example, try searching on Pinterest for ideas or checking out the Ideal Home website for upcycling ideas for your furniture and garden.
- Donate: For items that you no longer need that are in good, usable condition, make sure to take these items down to your local charity shop so that they can find a new home. For larger items such as furniture, you can arrange for the British Heart Foundation or another charities to come and collect these for reuse. Alternatively, you can check with your local council to see if they can arrange collection for bulkier items.
- Recycle properly: Make sure that you are recycling effectively by disposing of your waste in the correct bins and placing your bin bags in the correct bin stores so that your waste can be disposed of and recycled appropriately. You can go to your local council website to find out how you should correctly dispose of your recyclable waste and what can go in each bin for collection. If you live in a block of flats, you can also contact your managing agent to find out more about how to correctly dispose of your waste.
- Check what is recycled locally: You can also check your local council website to find out if there are other types of waste that can be collected and recycled in your area (such as electronics or garden waste) to maximise the amount of your waste that is recycled. Alternatively, you can also check to find out what can be recycled at your local recycling centres so that you can take any household waste that is not collected from your curbside to be recycled.
- Compost it: Compost your food waste by starting your own compost heap or wormery in order to reduce the amount of waste that you send to landfill, give the plants in your garden a nutrient boost and reduce the emissions produced by the decomposition of your organic waste. If you don’t have the space, time or desire to compost your food waste yourself, you can also check whether your local council collects food and garden waste separately for composting. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss the possibility of setting up a food waste collection on your estate, we suggest that you get in touch with your managing agent.
We would love to hear your ideas about how we can support you to live sustainably and reduce your waste. If you have suggestions or feedback that you would like to share, please email us at [email protected] and we would be delighted hear from you.