There’s been a lot of talk in the media lately about how much waste we create – mainly thanks to the excellent War on Waste series. The idea of actually cutting back on our waste can be overwhelming though, so today I wanted to share some steps to reducing waste that anyone can try! I’d love to hear your tips as well!
Do a Waste Audit
The first thing I recommend you do if you want to reduce your waste is get a proper understanding of what you’re creating. The easiest way to do this is to do a waste audit over the course of a week. You could do this daily, or leave it to the end of the week, whatever works best. Basically, you want to separate it into three groups – compostable, recyclable and landfill. If you really want to dig deep you can also separate your recyclables into plastics, glass and cardboard, but to begin with the main three groups is enough.
This should give you a really good sense of what is both coming into, and subsequently going out of your home, and therefore where there is room for improvement.
Pick One Area of Focus
Like most life changes, reducing your waste is best done through small changes. Once you have a good sense of your current waste situation, choose one area to focus on for the next month. A few great places to start are:
- Reducing your food waste through meal planning and composting
- Cutting out takeaway coffee cups
- Bring your own bags to the shops
- Say no to plastic straws
As you get more comfortable with the first change you have made, slowly add another one, and then another, and before you know it you will be well on the way to reducing your waste. Trying to do too much at once tends to make it all very overwhelming, so start small and build from there.
Get Yourself Some Alternatives
If you buy yourself some quality alternatives to single-use products then you’ll be more likely to use them. You’ll also be properly equipped to make the changes as well! I have shared my top items for a towards zero waste life previously, including my favourite options, but in summary they are:
- Coffee cup
- Water bottle
- Shopping & produce bags
- Glass straw
- Food covers
- Lunchbox and sandwich wrap
- Reusable cutlery
Don’t Worry about Slip Ups
None of us are perfect, so if you find yourself sliding back into old habits then don’t beat yourself up about it. The fact you are making changes is an excellent start, so if you’re caught out without your reusable bags from time to time, or find yourself with some food you didn’t get the chance to use then that’s ok. Just put it behind you and try and remember the next time!