Small changes make a big difference
We all like to think we do our bit for the environment – whether it’s buying more eco-friendly products or using public transport instead of taking the car – but there are bound to be times when even the most ardent recycler has thrown something in the wrong bin, or were too busy to separate some rubbish and packaging in the kitchen.
If you’re not a hardcore recycling fanatic (yet), it’s still possible to make your life a little easier by making a couple of adjustments to your habits and routine – and thereby reducing the strain on your local authority landfill sites and waste collections. You might find your home becomes a little tidier too!
Avoiding single-use items and reducing your reliance on plastic
It might mean you have to wash the dishes a little more often, but those paper plates and plastic knives, forks and spoons are items that you should cut down on as much as possible. Sure, there will be times that they’re a useful option – birthday parties for small children being a prime example – where you don’t want broken china all over the house, but keeping their use to a minimum is an easy change to make.
Since the plastic bag charge was introduced, the number of single-use bags used has reduced dramatically, but bottled water and cups from your favourite coffee house can often be a bigger problem for local authorities. Plastic bottles are easy to recycle (as long as you put them in the correct bin), but those coffee cups are not! Plastic coated card/paper is not generally recycled as the plastic must be separated from the paper material first – a specialised process that councils don’t usually have the capacity for. So, next time you go for that mocha, latte or espresso, perhaps think about taking your own reusable cup with you.
If you have a few pots on a patio, or if you’re lord or lady or all you survey, it’s worth composting. Food accounts for a significant proportion of every household’s waste, so it’s well worth reusing as much of it as you’re able. Even a small composting bin can reduce your kitchen waste significantly, and it makes a great fertiliser for your plants, fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Having said that, composting might not be convenient if you live, say, in a flat. Either way, giving a bit more thought to the way you cook can reduce your food waste. Being able to turn leftovers into a great meal is a skill worth learning, and having good shopping habits in the first place by buying only what you need is sensible for you and your purse or wallet!
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