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Practical ways to reduce household waste

With reduced bin collections, carrier bag charges and even talk in Scotland of money back schemes for recycling the war on waste is hotting up more than ever. With over 31 million tonnes of waste generated every year it is no surprise that councils and the Government have set targets to reduce waste.
Far from being solely the Government’s problem, waste generation is an issue for everyone and yet small changes could make a big difference. Reducing the waste a household produces and only outsourcing waste removal when absolutely necessary doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling a person’s lifestyle. Here are some quick wins to get started:
Only buy what you need
This might sound obvious but being surrounded by temptation and deals on everything can lead to people buying much more than they’ll ever need. Shopping for food and consumables only as they are needed could reduce food waste and overstocking of items that may not be used for years to come.
Buy products that last
They say that you buy cheap and you buy twice and this is definitely true in many cases. Buying quality items of clothing or investing in rechargeable batteries might seem initially expensive but could save on waste and cut down on products only being used once before being ready for the bin.
Make money from waste
Rather than binning items that are no longer needed it could be possible to donate unwanted clothing or bric a brac to charity. Alternatively car boots tend to run all year round in many areas so selling could also be an option.
Reduce junk mail
Contacting companies to cancel marketing mailings or opting for electronic mail sounds very small but the implications for production and delivery or materials could have a big impact as well as make extra space for paper bin collections.
Take your own bags
There might be something about a trip to the supermarket that instantly makes someone forget their huge stash of carrier bags at home but doing your utmost to remember to take your own bags for your weekly shop can now save you money as well as a plastic build up at home. Many supermarkets also have plastic bag recycling bins for anyone with an out of control supply.

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