It is so incredibly important to reduce waste but trying to work out what YOU should do can be overwhelming. It need not be, start small and pick things that are easy and most importantly a change that can be sustained. We can all do our bit to reduce waste and it is important to start with small changes. Work with YOUR routine, YOUR budget and YOUR lifestyle…. let’s create our own mission to help REDUCE WASTE: STOP… THINK… ACT
The first thing to mention is not to throw away all the items you would like to change to more eco-friendly ones. This is wasteful and it’s better to make use of what you have – even if it is donated. With time things can be changed and replaced with eco-friendly alternatives.
We are too busy in this fast paced world so this is where we need to slow down on selected occasions and create a mission to STOP… THINK… ACT
Create a household mission to reduce waste – mark a date in your diary, just once a month to reflect on this – DAY OF REFLECTION.
On this day look at what particular waste items you want to focus or re-focus on, then follow STOP… THINK… ACT
On your “day of reflection”, take a moment to pause and note items, products, buying habits or activities that add the most waste in your household.
It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with changes and trying new things so pick just 2 or 3 of these items.
For each of your chosen items, ask yourself a few questions:
- Is there a better way to do this task or, are there better products to buy instead?
- Will another way have less impact on waste?
- Does this need some financial investment or, can you do this without too much extra effort – make sure it is a manageable change.
Now for all your chosen changes – work on finding a NEW WAY to reduce waste.
Will share ideas on types of things you could start to think about bit later in this blog.
Next time you come around to your chosen task(s) – try the NEW WAY.
Continue to stick with this for around a month or until it becomes a household habit. Once your chosen changes are fully introduced this should become an EASY change and be part of your routine.
Now you can repeat this process for another 2 to 3 items – whatever is manageable in your household.
Everything around us seems to produce waste, so where do you start?
Assess what items in your daily life produce the MOST waste – this is where your efforts will make a BIG IMPACT over a SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
You could even start by focusing on a room for example working towards a plastic free bathroom or kitchen!
Remember changes should involve the family so they are introduced to new habits. Don’t be disheartened if something does not suit you and is not possible, put your efforts towards finding another change instead. Once a few changes are adapted to, your family will become more supportive and help with fresh ideas. It is amazing the suggestions that children can make when they put their mind to it!
Easy Changes To Reduce Waste
Here are some easy changes, to give you some ideas and get you started:
- Collect small pieces of aluminium foil. Foil is easy to recycle but small pieces fall through holes at recycling centers. To prevent this, gather small (clean) pieces of foil inside a larger piece, scrunch up together to form a ball. Size should be approximately that of a tennis ball, then add to your recycling!
- Wherever possible buy loose food rather than pre-packed.
- Find refill stations or zero waste shops near you for food, personal and household items. Remember if you can REFILL and REUSE plastic bottles then make sure you wash and keep these aside.
- Switch to solid soap bars wherever possible – remember if a product is eco-friendly it is better for the planet but it is also better for you and your skin too. Choose natural solid soaps for hands, body, dish washing even shampoo and conditioner – try new things!
- Refuse to buy wrapping paper – buy recycled kraft paper and jute string or invest in Furoshiki Wraps – learn how to wrap using fabric, an old ancient Japanese tradition!
- Change cleaning scrubbies from readily available plastics to plant based ones like loofah – they last much longer too and at the end of life they are compostable!
- It is amazing the types of eco-friendly products are available to buy once you start looking. Some you did not even know existed – from coconut hair dish washing scrubbies, dental floss made from corn to plastic free deodorants. You will be surprised at how cost effective these are and how much kinder they are for you in terms of ingredients – win win for all.
- Carry a drinks bottle and say no to bottled soft drinks and water.
- Use a travel cup so reusable items are given the focus and not single use – even if your coffee shop uses eco-friendly – they still produce waste.
- Say no to plastic straws before you are given these when you are eating out.
- Collect hard plastic bottle tops – from milk, squash and other plastic bottles. These cannot be recycled so wash, dry and collect them. Then drop them off at your local Lush store. They will send it to Storm Board – a company that makes products from plastic waste. They melt these down and turn into playground equipment, worktops and all sorts!
- Fast fashion is HUGE but do we really need to buy more clothes – this is a hard one and will take time to change habits. The first step is to think about NEEDS versus WANTS and perhaps look at REDUCING the frequency and QUANTITY of buying.
- Find your local recycling points for different items like Terracycle. They have lots of different recycling schemes, find out what is near you. From crisp packet recycling to used pens, toothpaste tubes & toothbrushes – see website for lots more information.
Some great local charities I have come across who make great effort to help others:
- Used duvets covers are taken by Friends of Magale where they turn them into skirts and shorts for orphans in Uganda.
- Brand New pants for boys and girls and also new or gently worn bras (including nursing & sports) are taken by Smalls for All – a charity that you can send these items by post. They provide underwear for women and children in Africa and the UK.
Remember CONVENIENCE and easy to buy products have been made FAST and CHEAP which means the packaging and even ingredients are often not the focus!
Know you have a CHOICE to make and spend your hard earned money on items you would like to support.
Buying is a POWER, make YOUR CHOICES COUNT!BUY LESS, CHOOSE WELL, MAKE IT LAST!
Tell your friends about the impact you are having and encourage them to start their own mission to reduce waste with STOP… THINK… ACT
Good luck, support each other and remember NO CHANGE IS EVER TOO SMALL!
#reducewaste #refillreuse #recyclenow #reducesingleuseplastics #plasticpollution #singleuseplastics #nontoxicliving #noplanetb
What I write are my own personal views and I don’t endorse any content on external websites. I am also not advising on best course of action and recommend you do your own research.