Too often we forget that the environmental proverb, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a ranked list of priorities. Reducing waste ought to be our first course of action.
1. Read online newspapers
Yes they are wonderful to touch and ruffle but unless you’re taking turns at reading a communal paper, it will be a wasteful purchase.
2. Stop using deodorizers
Dried coffee grinds, can remove unwanted smells from the refrigerator or bathroom. Baking soda is another super secret odor remover and moisture extractor.
3. Don’t buy the wrapping
Your dollar is the most effective way of telling companies that you disagree with their excessive packaging. Individually wrapped products and novelty-themed editions are regular culprits. You’re smart enough to buy the product and not the package right? If the kitsch and pretty is what you’re after, try second-hand stores for cool boxes or jars.
4. No more paper towels
Ditching paper towels will help you save a lot of tissue paper, not to mention money. So bid those rolls goodbye, and start using a cloth or sponge in the kitchen.
5. Use reuseable grocery bags
Recall the fad; ‘I’m not a plastic bag’? Almost every supermarket sells reusable bags now, and some will even give you a small discount on your groceries if you use them instead of plastic bags. Keep some handy in your trunk or backpack.
6. Buy in bulk
Avoid buying small servings. If you have the space, bulk up on the essentials like toilet paper, rice and frozen goods. You can always hide 1/2 the big box of cookies from your flatmates or kids.
So much plastic! So little tofu.
7. Pack your own lunch
Making your own lunch has tons of benefits; it’s generally healthier, allows you to monitor your balanced diet, it’s cheaper, can make good on leftovers and you know that it was prepared hygienically. Use a durable container so you’re not tossing out a plastic/ paper bags daily.
8. Save paper at the printer
Where printing less or double-siding your paper isn’t possible, salvage used sheets for notes, doodling or stationery.
Some consider this super thrifty and a tad tacky. I say, as long as you’re respectful of people’s feelings and genuine in thought, it’s okay to re-gift.
10. Send E-Cards
Saving paper and saving time, E-cards have become a socially acceptable way of sending your thoughts. Sincere in the thought and made personal with a message, who wouldn’t love to know that you’re thinking of the environment too.
11. Get creative and repair
Some skills are required to be flawless in your repairing but with a needle and thread, some superglue and a little practice, you’ll be saving a lot of waste by helping your items live longer.
12. Stretch the life of cleaning products
Often the essential agent in a cleaner or bathroom product can be effective when diluted by 300%. By adding water, you’re able to improve the life of your liquids without affecting the
13. Use a travel mug
Buy a decent travel mug with your favourite design and carry it with you to work and about the town. In just one week you’ll save 5 cups, 5 cup- sleeves and 5 plastic lids.
14. Switch to rechargeable batteries
Enough of your items require batteries so why not buy rechargeable? They’ll cost a little more initially but pay for themselves in the end. While the environment will benefit dramatically from less nickel-cadmium.
15. Purchase durable products
When you’re making a purchase for something significant, spend the money to have a product-for-life. The extra you pay for something that will serve you a long time is usually worth the hassle and waste of buying several cheaper versions.
16. Buy less food
The UK throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food every year! And most of this could have been eaten! Make sure you don’t buy or cook more food than you want to eat. Cook or freeze food before the end of the ‘use by’ date and you can keep it for longer. Store food in the appropriate fashion to extend its shelf life. I usually operate by the smell and taste-test method of approval. Of course I don’t eat meat or dairy, which are predominately the carriers of food borne illnesses.