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How Much Waste Do You Throw Away?

When it comes to taking care of our planet, small changes can make a big impact. It’s more important than ever to do our bit for the environment and even though it may seem overwhelming, a great place to start is within your own home.

Anything that can’t be or isn’t recycled ends up in the landfill which causes so many problems; it destroys ecosystems, emits pollutant gases into the air and contaminates the ground and water sources. 

But there are lots of ways you can reduce waste and improve the environment from the comfort of your own home:

Recycling rules

Many items are recyclable including plastic bottles, cardboard, paper, glass bottles and jars but there are a few rules to adhere to before you bin them. Firstly, putting the wrong materials into recycling’s bins and boxes can contaminate the collection and all the waste in the lorry may end up in the landfill after all.

Any types of needles, syringes and lancets are clinical waste and must NEVER be placed in a domestic bin.

It’s also important to get in the habit of rinsing items before placing them in the bin, if possible. But don’t get scared off by the sorting rules and symbols - with a little of bit research, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a recycling master.

Start at the supermarket

Most of the waste we throw in the bin is usually food packaging or food that has expired, which is a downright shame. By following a few of the below tips, you can reduce the amount being chucked out:

Reuse reuse reuse

Reusable containers can prevent unnecessary waste by keeping food fresh for longer. Plus they’re great for leftovers and next day lunches. 

Battery waste is also becoming a huge problem in landfills. As they contain toxic chemicals, they shouldn’t be tossed in the trash either – but rechargeable batteries are a great investment and saves you buying new ones too!

Plastic water bottles & disposable coffee cups

Plastic bottles and paper coffee cups have had a major impact on the environment. In the UK, we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – 7 MILLION A DAY! And due to the complicated way they are produced, the majority of them do not end up being recycled – actually less than 1 per cent get recycled.

Let’s not even start on how plastic pollution is causing chaos on our marine environment too. But how you can do your part? Buying a water bottle and keeping it handy will reduce the need to buy plastic water bottles.

Purchasing a durable flask can also aid in reducing coffee cup waste and will keep your coffee hotter for longer – win/win!

Composting

A large amount of what you throw into the bin could be composted – egg shells, leftover scraps, vegetable peelings, teabags etc. Make the most of them by creating a compost heap if you have a spare bin and some extra space. It’s also a great fertilizer for plants as it's full of nutrients. So not only are you reducing waste, but you’re actually giving to your garden.

Meal planning

We’ve all been the victim of buying too much food that ultimately has to go to waste because it wasn’t used up. Planning meals ahead will save so much food going to waste, as well as money. Freezing left over meals will also help reduce the waste and it can be used any time you want for lunches and dinners.

Plastic bag pandemic

Image result for plastic bag memes

We all have that one cupboard brimming with plastic bags but one of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of waste you produce is to invest in reusable bags for shopping. Or re-use those plastic bags and keep them handy in the car – it’s a simple way to make sure you don’t forget them at home.

 

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