Reducing waste, thoughts and tips | Eco Lyf
Reducing your waste is a lot easier than you think and can make a big difference to your impact on the environment. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I do to reduce waste at the moment and looking at other ways I can reduce waste. Ideally I would like to not put anything into landfill but as I’m a student on a budget it’s difficult to pay out for the more expensive alternatives to packaged products but I do what I can.
Some of the things you can do to reduce waste are so simple, to start, I always have a fold-up reusable shopping bag in my bag because you never know when you might need it. If you don’t already have one of these I would highly recommend it, or if you have a spare tote bag you could fold that up to keep with you. If you drive, make sure you keep bags in your car.
Second; carry a reusable water bottle, so much waste comes from drinks bottles. Lots of cafes and restaurants are more than happy to fill up your bottle for you so no need to buy any water while you are out!
Third is if you think you will want a take away coffee, take a travel mug with you. Lots of places have travel mugs for sale in so many designs you are almost guaranteed to find one you like. As an added bonus, lots of coffee shops offer you money off for bringing your own cup and most of the time travel mugs keep your hot drink hot longer than the single use ones.
Four isn’t really a necessity but I love drinking through straws so I have a pack of stainless steel ones and I keep one in my bag, it’s so light and takes up hardly any space but makes me so so happy. These were lovingly bought for me by my best friend Tara but I assume they are easy enough to get hold of.
Five couldn’t be more simple if it tried; opt for the unpackaged fruit and vegetables when you go food shopping. You can just take them home loose or use smaller bags to keep them together and away from other foods if needed.
Six, if you are lucky like me you might have some kind of wholefoods or bulk store nearby where you buy lots of foods by weight and use either compostable brown paper bags or bring your own jars and bags to fill. These places are great for getting grains, dried beans and lots of other yummy goodies from bulk bins and gravity bins and you can get as much or as little as you would like!
Seven, carry cutlery with you, again a super lightweight addition to your bag that can make a big difference. Most recyclable cutlery that is given out is plastic that doesn’t end up being recycled or wooden cutlery that doesn’t get composted. Bonuses to this are that if you ever want to share a cake or other treat with someone you have the implements to do so and you always know your knife will actually cut through your food and that it’s unlikely your fork will snap under pressure.
Eight, take lunches to school, college, university or work in lunchboxes, not wrapped in cling film or foil. Not only does this reduce waste but you will also probably save money, eat healthier and have more time to enjoy your breaks because you don’t have to search for food.
Nine, if you are lucky you may have the ability to compost your food waste. Whether this is through getting your own compost bin in your garden or kerbside collection bin or a local community composting site, you’ll be amazed how much of your waste is food scraps, leftovers that didn’t get eaten and unfortunate food that went off. I am desperately looking for somewhere I can compost my food waste so if you can compost know that I am envious.
A great thing to remember when making any kind of lifestyle change like this is that it will get easier with time and that all you can expect from yourself is to do your best. Think about the positive impact you can make and if you slip up, thats okay! Try again, try something new! Find what works for you.