19 Ways to Reduce Household Waste

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Further to my post earlier this week about Zero Waste Week, I’ve been planning ways I can reduce waste at home. Our council empties our big black wheelie bin every two weeks, and we’re already pretty good in that it’s usually only half to two-thirds full for our family of four, but there’s room for improvement.

Some of them were immediately obvious, such as:

1. Planning my meals around what I have in the house, rather than what catches my eye on Pinterest

2. Eating more fruit with breakfast (I like smoothies) to avoid it going yuck

3. Using up the entire bottle of shampoo/sauce/whatever before buying a new one

Then I looked to the internet for more inspiration, and came back with:

4. Checking out the cost of having milk delivered in glass bottles (we get through about 25 pints a week, which is 6 x 4 pint bottles

5. Having a week ban on soft drink bottles/cans, newspapers and magazines.

6. Stop putting food waste in my council compost bin, and take it to my friend’s allotment for her compost

7. Reuse cereal boxes for wrapping eBay parcels

8. Fix my hedge trimmer (I cut through the cord… oops) instead of buying a new one. I tried it once without much success, but with a little more effort I am sure I (ok, my husband) can make it usable again.

9. Cut up fruit and put it in front of the kids for snacks. They will eat it if in front of them, but will always head for the “treat drawer” in favour of the fruit bowl if it’s up to them to get their food.

10. Change the one remaining bank account we have with paper statements to online statements

11. Check out local vegetable box scheme. I know we have one, but I’ve always assumed it will be too expensive

12. Opt out of junk mail. You can find out how to do this here

13. Buy a Mooncup. I should have done this years ago.

14. Do a smaller shop. The less I buy, the less I have to waste, right?

15. Keeping an eye on what others are putting in the bin. A bit gross, but the others in my household are not as conscientious as I am about recycling.

16. Use the Love Food, Hate Waste portion calculator when cooking (there are also some great recipes there, and on the Zero Waste Week Site)

17. Swap my disposable razors for a more longer lasting style

18. Get my central heating serviced – not an immediate saving, but it will make sure it’s working more efficiently this winter.

19. Start thinking about Christmas. A long way off, I know, but so much waste!

Can you think of anything else? I already sell and donate clothing/material that no longer fits. If it’s not good enough it gets used for cleaning rags before being recycled. The kids use lunch boxes that require no plastic wrap. We don’t use paper towels or single use cleaning wipes in the kitchen or bathroom.

The one thing I’d really like to reuse or recycle is plastic bags that food comes in – you know, frozen vegetables, inside cereal boxes, and stuff. I hate throwing these away. The obvious solution would be not to buy, but frozen veggies are convenient and save me waste, so I don’t want to do that. Any suggestions?

 

Click here for National Zero Waste week 2014

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