Beginners tips for reducing household waste

Filed in Reduce by on May 12, 2009 7 Comments
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From little acorns ...If you’re new to our site or just beginning to reduce your household waste, then this is the page for you!

If you’ve made the decision to reduce your waste by reusing, recycling and composting as much as you can, where do you start?

Here are our top ten tips for reducing household waste!

1- Find out what recyclable materials can be collected from your kerbside and made it your goal to recycle as much as you can. Check out the Recycle Now website to find details or contact your local council.

Learn more about this tip with our monthly challenge post.

2- Find out where your local recycling facilities are and see if you could start taking some things there when you are out and about. Find your recycling facilities on the Recycle Now website or contact your local council for details.

Learn more about this tip with our ‘monthly challenge post.

3- Stop taking new disposable carrier bags from the shops. Either reuse your own or buy some of our exclusive recycled reusable shopping bags. By buying these bags you will be helping to support our site.

Learn more about the devastating effects disposable plastic carrier bags can have on the environment with our ‘reduce carrier bags‘ article.

4- Stop junk mail coming into your home with the Junkbuster website.

Discover how much junk mail comes through your door every year with our ‘junk mail‘ article.

5- Set up a recycling centre in your home. Use old boxes, crates or bags in a place that is convenient for you to store things.

Find out more about our recycling centre with our blog post ‘no rest for the wicked‘.

6- Check out freecycle, SnaffleUp, eBay and Ooffoo if you have items in your home or garage that you no longer want. If you’ve got books to get rid of then try Amazon or Green metrolopolis.

7- Carefully open, store and reuse any envelopes or packaging that comes into your home.

8- Buy loose fruit and vegetables from the shop. Why not check out your local farmers market or sign up for a vegetable box scheme?

Read more on our ‘how to reduce plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables‘.

9- Start a compost heap! By doing this you will divert valuable food waste from the landfill and get some rich food for your soil.

Find out how to deal with slimy compost and how to keep fruit flies out of your compost.

10- Switch to paperless billing. This will reduce your paper footprint and might save you money too!

Find out how much paper your household produces with our article ‘how to cut your paper footprint.’

Already doing all these things? Check out our article for ‘intermediate recyclers‘ and find out what else you can do to reduce your landfill waste!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Clare Wilson says:


    The junkbusters website is no longer maintained. Is there any other way of getting your name taken off the paper junkmail lists?

  2. Mrs Green says:

    @Clare Wilson: Hi Clare, thanks for pointing that out! Here is a new address for you:

    Let us know how you get on and if this is successful for you 🙂

  3. Lorenzo L. Gallo says:

    Some worthy pieces of advice, and yet all the above information is mainly thought for people living in the British countryside. For instance, living in an Italian city, I cannot use the same system to prevent junk mail (though it is less of a problem here than in the UK, I suppose) and living in a skyscraper with a tiny balcony I really don’t know where I could place a compost heap.
    And yet, I must sincerely compliment your page, so clear and well explained. It could yet be adapted to work on an international level, as your brilliant experience can surely be applied to a wide range of possibilities.
    Keep up with the good work, then!
    Lorenzo from Rome

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Lorenzo L. Gallo: Hello Lorenzo, welcome to the site. Yes, our site is mainly focused for the UK audience because we live here and obviously have more knowledge about UK resources than others.

    I would LOVE to be able to help people across the world but we have problems helping just people over here as recycling facilities are different from one area to the next!

    Maybe we’ll set up an Italian section and you could be our Italian correspondent, helping to inspire your friends and neighbours 😉

    I appreciate a compost bin is not any good for people with tiny balconies, so perhaps you would consider a wormery instead. Alternatively a bokashi bin could be used and the contents donated to friends with gardens…

  5. Ramona says:

    I got hooked up on a zero waste life just lately, so thank you so much for sharing your tips! Some changes in my lifestyle are harder than I expected and I’ll definitely need more time to adjust. Those tips will be of great help to me, thanks again!

  6. Kiara says:

    Hi my name is Kiara, I am 8 years old.
    I learnt about recycling and I want to encourage Australia to stop using plastic because it hurts the environment.

    I hope you all understand that plastic is bad .

    • Mrs Green says:

      Hi Kiara, Welcome to our site and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. If you keep spreading your message about how plastic hurts the environment you will inspire people to think differently and that would be wonderful. We’re very lucky to have people like you who care so much – the environment will get better if we all work together 🙂

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