Waste reduction tips
Reducing the amount of waste we produce is by far the best thing to do – but how? The sections below give helpful advice on how to reduce the amount of waste we produce by being more efficient and resourceful with what we use.
- Only cook what you need – avoid leftover food, by cooking only the amount you need.
- If you have any food left over, save it for tomorrow’s lunch / tea, or freeze it for another day.
- Only buy the food you know you’ll eat this week – don’t spend money on items that will run out of their use by dates before you get chance to eat them.
- Got some over ripened fresh fruit or veg? Make smoothies or soups.
- Did you know you can freeze most types of food? That includes cheese and milk!
Join the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign from WRAP for more ideas at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com Full of delicious recipes to use up leftovers, handy hints and tips for storing food to make it last longer, a portion calculator to help you cook the right amount, and information on what food date labels mean.
Use the free Mailing Preference Service for mail which is specifically addressed to you such as letters/catalogues from companies wanting your business. Once you join your name will be removed from 95% of direct mailing lists within 4 months.
To register you can either visit www.mpsonline.org.uk , call 0845 703 4599 or write to MPS, Freepost 29, LON 20771, London, W1E 0ZT with your name and address details. Registration lasts for 5 years.
Use the Royal Mail opt out service to reduce the amount of unaddressed mail. To register (for up to 2 years), provide you name and address via email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs
Please note: the Royal Mail service does not differentiate between unaddressed mail you would like to receive, such as council newsletters/service information leaflets and unaddressed mail you don’t want to receive like sales flyers. Once you have joined this service all unaddressed mail will be stopped within 6 weeks.
When you give your name to an organisation such as through order forms, surveys and application forms, check the bottom of the form for opt out boxes to stop your name from being added to any new mailing lists.
If the mail you receive had the senders address you can return it to the sender for free by crossing through your name and labelling it return to sender.
If you continue to receive mailings from a specific company then write to them and ask for your name to be removed from their mailing list.
Smart shopping is all about making the most of what you buy and thinking about what to buy to reduce the amount of waste you produce. This can be as simple as making a shopping list so you only buy what you need to or choosing products with less packaging.
Say NO to plastic bags; Over 8 billion plastic bags are used in the UK every year which can take 1000 years to degrade – use reusable bags instead, such as cloth or hessian bags, or even a back pack!
- Buy food with minimal packaging; Less packaging means less rubbish. Supporting companies who are reducing their packaging will encourage others to reduce their own too.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it; You’ll be surprised at how much less food is in your bin at the end of the week … and how much more money is in your wallet!
- Buy in bulk; Buy non-perishable items in bulk and save on extra journeys to the shop as well as on packaging.
- Buy locally; Minimise emissions and energy used to transport the food and support local businesses where you can. Farmer’s markets are also a great way to help the local economy.
- Don’t buy disposable; Reusable products last much longer and produce less waste than single use items , suchas razors.
- Buy second hand items; one man’s waste is another man’s treasure, so why not grab a bargain at a charity shop or vintage shop for pre-loved items that are still usable.
- Go to the library for books and newspapers / magazines, instead of buying new – or with technology advancements, read an e-book or visit news websites etc instead.