Reducing your household waste is one of the most important things you can do to help the environment. Plastic waste is a major issue now but reducing all types of waste is essential for the health of the planet. Single-use items are clogging up all our systems and while plastic may be the most predominant material, the processing and recycling of other materials still has a carbon footprint.
The best thing you can do is reduce the amount of waste you produce overall. With a few simple switches, this is actually quite simple. It’s all about getting into better habits and taking your time to change gradually.
But where should you start?
Switch to Reusables
One of the simplest ways you can reduce your waste and save money is by swapping out your single-use items for reusables. For example, wet wipes have completely taken over the market as a quick disposable cleaning aid and yet they do exactly the same job as a flannel and some bleach spray!
Switching your household cleaning products is really easy and using washable cloths is significantly better for the environment. Similarly, choosing reusable diapers, swapping paper napkins for cloth napkins and trying cloth pads (or a menstrual cup) will reduce your waste significantly. This will incur a bit more washing for you, but you can always use the money you save on a great laundrette service like J & G Laundromat who can even pick up and return as part of the service.
Buy in Bulk
Another easy way to reduce waste is to buy products in bulk. Instead of buying lots of individual items, with all the individual wrappers, you can buy a single lot and then decant as you need it. You can buy all kinds of things in bulk from soaps to food items. In fact, buying coffee in bulk could save 240 million pounds of foil packaging waste.
You will need to store your bulk buys safely to ensure that they are preserved properly. Using sealed boxes in a cool dark cupboard is the best bet as this won’t clog up your kitchen and you can top up glass jars and containers as and when you’re ready.
Gradually Change Your Habits
Reducing your household waste won’t happen overnight. You need to give yourself time to adapt to your new lifestyle and gradually replace your single-use items with reusable items. One method is to work your way around the house, changing your habits one room at a time. You can even have zero-waste chickens in the garden!
Start with the easiest changes, like swapping to cloth towel for cleaning and then think about making more difficult changes. For example, most supermarkets are still really plastic heavy so in order to avoid this waste product you will have to go elsewhere to buy your groceries. This is a big switch, so trying to do too much at once will only put you off! Changing your habits takes time so don’t beat yourself up about not doing enough, use up what you have and change as you go.