Zero Waste Week 2018 runs for the first week in September. It aims to highlight ways you can cut your waste, help the environment and save your hard earned cash in the process.
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Wasting everyday stuff around the home is expensive. What’s the point in doing it? All it’s doing is throwing money away that could be used for something far better.
It’s also not just about saving money, but about saving the planet a bit more too. While you may not believe one person, or one household can make that much change; by adapting your habits and producing less waste for the landfill it really will make a difference.
But what can you actually do to help support with Zero Waste Week?
It may be very hard to switch everything you do to only have one jar of waste left like this person did (!), but you can start to make a few changes to some of your habits and be more thoughtful about what you use and what you waste.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It was Bob the Builder who used the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle. Well, he may not have created it, but it sure helps to have his chirpy little voice in my head when I think about cutting down on waste.
The three word mantra is really the first steps of how to save on waste.
Here is a perfect example:
Reduce waste to cut down
Getting ready for the back to school and we went through the uniform to see what could be used again in the upcoming year. We didn’t need to buy a full set of everything from scratch again – that would be wasteful.
So, with a good, deep clean the shirts are perfectly fine for more months to come.
Reuse stuff if you can
There are some bits of the kids old school uniform that are of perfect quality, but just don’t fit my eldest anymore.
I’m not going to put them in the bin though – they will be perfectly fine to be saved for a few years and our youngest can wear them in the future.
Recycle rubbish and use it again
Then there were the tights. These things have seen better days and there are holes forming. Even the tightwad in me won’t be able to sew them up to re-wear :(
They don’t need to be chucked in the rubbish though. They can be used as stuffing for a toy or even used to hang up onions. There are lots of ways to recycle tights.
How to save during Zero Waste Week
There are so many ways to save during Zero Waste Week and it’s easy to start and turn them into a habit over the week.
In 2015, 13 billion of edible food was thrown away from our homes according to Love Food Hate Waste – imagine how many week’s food shopping you could do with that lot?!
- Love your leftovers by wrapping up to reheat for lunch the next day.
- Audit your fridge regularly and move any fresh meats you won’t use into the fridge so you don’t need to bin them.
- Make sure you know the difference between use by and best before.
- Remember to take reusable bags to the supermarket (and save yourself 5p a bag at the same time!)
Heading straight to the rubbish dump and not be to used again, there are alternatives to keeping clean and being eco at the same time. Plus, you’ll save a small fortune over time!
- Ladies – invest in a moon cup (there has been so much good feedback on them in our Facebook community).
- Swap disposable for reusable nappies.
- Try making your own cleaning products with things you may already have in the cupboard.
If you’ve got stuff laying about your home that you no longer want don’t just take them to the dump:
- Hold a yard sale (they are getting more and more popular in the UK) and make a few quid selling things you don’t need anymore. If you don’t have room them just do a tradition car boot sale.
- Pass things onto a charity shop instead of putting them in the bin so someone else can get a bargain (remember to gift aid it).
- Give things away to people who want them on Freecycle. Even if you think it’s rubbish others may have a need.
- Could you use the item for something else? Old bed slats could become a new shelf, old holey jeans could become a bag.
- Recycle your used plastic bottles in a reverse vending machine.
Really, this is about being more self conscious about what we’re all doing.
If you just stopped before chucking something in the bin and think; could you recycle it, could you use it for something else or could it last just one more day?
And, as the old saying goes, waste not want not. The more you could save today, the less you will need for tomorrow.