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And a sustainable New Year

Is reducing waste at the top of your New Year resolution list?

If the thought of decreasing your household waste along with your waistline seems too much to bear, read our five-step guide to a sustainable new year, to help you towards a happier and more sustainable future.

Because on average each person in the UK throws away their body weight in rubbish every seven weeks. While each year, 18 million tonnes of waste is sent to a UK landfill site.

We believe when it comes to waste reduction, small goals equal big wins. So, why not challenge yourself, family and friends, to be eco-warriors and save our environment from further unnecessary damage.

1/ Reducing plastic

Like it or loath it, plastic is everywhere. With 20 times more plastic made and used today than it was 50 years ago.

TGt recommends reusing containers opposed to throwing them away. Seek out shops who offer refilling facilities and bring in your containers to reduce waste and reuse packaging.

The Health Box operates on a zero-packaging basis offering; shampoo, conditioner, hand and body wash bottle refills as well as Ecover household detergent refills.

But why stop at the products, switch to a bamboo toothbrush opposed to a plastic one – fully recyclable and one step closer to a plastic free household.

2/ Reducing food waste

Every year in the UK we throw away £12.5 billion worth of good food, costing the average family almost £60 a month.

Save your household money along with reducing waste with meal plans and batch cooking. Shop where products are dispensable or bought to order.

Always list, store and schedule a time to batch cook meals. For the self-diagnosed time-poor batch cooking is the perfect healthy solution. Committing an hour or two a week to meal planning and preparation will save you both time, money and promote health in busy periods.

Use up vegetables in stews and soups and reinvent left overs into new dishes, i.e. add pesto to rice to make a salad, turn bolognese into a lasagne and leftover mash into fishcakes.

3/ Challenging and changing habits

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Arisotle

Challenge and change your habits in 2019 with actions rather than promises.

  • Carry a reusable thermos cup; you will not only receive environmental savings but monetary ones too as most coffee shops offer discounts for reusable cups.
  • Reusable water bottle, with single use water bottles being one of the most significant contributors to landfill topping up a sports bottle with water when out and about is a sure winner for waste reduction.
  • Reusable shopping bag, popping a folded shopping bag in your pocket or your handbag is an easy way to reduce unnecessary plastic waste with single use bags.
  • Avoid fast fashion, learn the origin of your clothing by treating it as you would your food. Check the label is it organic cotton? Where was it made? Can it be recycled?

4/ Go paperless

In our digitised world it is easy to reduce paper waste by swapping to online.

  • Switch statements and bills to online.
  • Choose digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  • Reduce junk mail by saying no to paper correspondence.

5/ Educate others

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

— Margaret J. Wheatley

Share your knowledge with others for more significant impact and change. Challenge yourself and others to be competitive with waste reduction, i.e. who creates the least waste in a month etc. Why not, increase environmental awareness with young family members by providing rewards and incentives for reducing waste.

Written by Emma Smith

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