Our belief is that there is always more you can do. Here are ten suggestions and we’d love to hear yours!
1- Help your community to recycle more. Perhaps you live near an elderly person who finds it confusing to read the codes on plastic bottles. Maybe a neighbour doesn’t have transport to the local recycling centre or perhaps you could club together and share trips to the civic amenity site to save on fuel and time.
2- Get writing. Campaign to your local MP, council, local supermarket or product manufacturers to improve recycling facilities in your area and packaging. Once we get the ‘big boys’ behind us, things are so much easier for everyone else.
3- Separate your wants from your needs. According to the story of stuff, the majority of the things we buy end up in the landfill within a few months. How many purchases have you made, only to discover you didn’t really want them at all? Start questioning yourself before you buy something new – do you want it or do you really need it?
4- Repair. Look after the things you already have by learning a new skill. Perhaps you could learn to knit, sew or do basic DIY. If you take care of the things you have, there are less things to throw away.
5- Take a look around your house and see what things you could reuse instead of recycling. Recycling is great, but it’s not the solution. Try and get more use from the things you buy. Check out Junkk.com for lots of ideas.
6- Examine your shopping habits. Is there anything else you could make a better purchase on or are ready to give up to reduce your household waste further? At the beginning of 2009 I gave up kitchen towel and switched to washable cloths. What about you?
7- Look into some harder-to-recycle items that might be lurking in your garage or shed and see how you might dispose responsibly of them. Paint, car batteries, spectacles and electrical items are all things we have occasionally to responsibly dispose of. Try Recycle Now for advise or ask in the comments below for suggestions.
8- Scout around your home and see if you’ve got a forgotten mobile phone somewhere, looking for a new home. 15 million mobile phones are discarded in the UK each year but only 4% are recycled or reused. Donate them to friends and family or give them to a charity to use. If you need (not want, remember!?) buy a recycled mobile phone from Purple Gossip.
Learn more about mobile phones and recycling in ‘Love it, hate it, but don’t bin it’ article
9- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging. Why not club together with friends or neighbours and set up a food co-op. Companies such as Suma provide bulk purchases of cleaning products and foods in large polythene bags instead of individual packaging.
10- Set up a plastic bag free campaign in your nearest town. Read all about the inspiring story of Modbury; Britain’s first plastic bag free town and read the fabulous “ban the plastic bag” book for tips on how to start your own plastic bag free town.
We’d love to hear your suggestions about the things you are doing to reduce your household waste!
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