How Can I Reduce My Waste?

Waste is a huge problem worldwide, with more and more space being taken up by landfill which could be used for better purposes. It can be easy to get into a rut of just throwing everything away, especially in the UK as we now lead such busy lives and buy so much packaged food, so it isn’t long until our wheelie bins are overflowing and bags have to be left at the side.

Not only do biweekly rubbish collections mean that you have to be more economical with the room in your bin, the excess of waste (often food that is completely edible) can attract vermin and other animals such as foxes who scavenge through the bins – not something many people want in their neighbourhood.

While just dumping your rubbish into the bin can seem like the only possible option when you have waste, it doesn’t have to be the case, as there are many other ways that you can reduce the amount of stuff you throw away every week.

1. Compost
This solution won’t work for everyone, but if you have a garden, one great way to cut down on your waste is to compost. Most food waste can be put into a composter, which over time, turns it into fertile soil that you can use in your garden. It’s not an expensive solution by any means, with compost bins being pretty cheap and also saves you buying any compost for your plants too – if you’ve got green fingers, composting is definitely a waste solution worth looking into. Read our article on how to make a compost bin using a wheelie bin.

2. Recycle
While this doesn’t technically cut down on your waste, it does cut down on the amount of waste going into your general rubbish bin, alongside helping the planet and reducing your carbon footprint. Council issued recycling bins seem to be standard now, so it is at no extra cost to you and is an extremely quick solution to solving a build-up of waste.

3. Freezing Food
A top tip for reducing waste is to freeze food such as bread until you need it. Not only is it quick and easy to defrost the food to use it, it also stops you throwing out food that you’ve paid for and stops it going stale too.

4. Cut Down On What You Buy
It is very easy to be drawn into supermarket offers of ‘Buy One Get One Free!’, but before you chuck three punnets of strawberries into your shopping trolley just because they’re on offer, stop and think whether you’ll actually use them before they go mouldy, because if not, you’re just creating more rubbish and wasting money rather than saving any!

5. Donate food
Food banks are always looking for donations of food to help those in need. If you have food that’s perishable, about to expire and you know you won’t use it, consider donating it to your local food bank rather than just throwing it away, as they’ll be able to make good use of it and you’ll have less waste.

There’s plenty of ways to reduce what you throw away and these are just some suggestions. Whether you’re concerned about the amount of land taken up by landfill or whether you’re frustrated by how much money you’re wasting on your weekly food shop, take a look at your daily life and see where you can take steps to reduce your waste output. It can be as simple as taking your own flask of coffee to work rather than getting a takeout from Starbucks – it doesn’t have to be big steps, but they will all start to add up, and you’ll see the amount of waste you produce drop considerably.