Sustainability and being as eco-friendly as possible has never been more popular, and for good reason. With climate change remaining at the forefront of the media, it’s no wonder an increasing number of people are looking to significantly reduce the amount of waste they produce, with many dedicated to zero-waste solutions.
But how can a household produce little-to-no waste? Bea Johnson, an environmental activist, has inspired millions of people to live a waste-free life and it’s not as difficult as you might have otherwise thought. By making subtle changes to your lifestyle, you’ll soon be well on your way to living a zero-waste life. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint but you’ll be saving a considerable amount of cash as well.
Make small changes to start with
It’s not always feasible for a household to produce zero-waste overnight. That’s why making a few small changes, initially, is a good way to initiate a more in-depth waste-free plan, eventually.
Kathryn Kellogg, founder of Going Zero Waste, started her sustainability journey by swapping the cleaning products she used, opting for homemade concoctions as opposed to chemical-based alternatives. According to inews, Kellogg said in relation to her simple switch that “it’s so much cheaper and [she] would much rather wash some lemon juice and vinegar down [her] drain than something with seventeen words that [she] can’t even pronounce”.
By making small changes, such as these, Kellogg believes that, according to inews, “everyone could reduce their trash by about 75%”, which is a considerable drop in waste production. If every household in the UK committed themselves to that, think of how little would be sent to landfill in comparison to current levels.
According to recyclingbins.co.uk, the average person in Britain throws out 400kg of waste a year. As a whole, the UK wastes 26 tonnes of rubbish and only 12 tonnes of that is recycled – the remainder is sent to landfill.
Overall, Britain has an average recycling rate of 45% despite the government setting a 50% recycling rate target by 2020. In reality, the UK is only recycling 3% more waste now than it did in 2010. This could be looked at as extremely slow progress. We could increase that recycling rate by making lots of small changes around the house.
Reduce the amount you buy
Reduce the amount of waste you produce by not buying it in the first place. Each time a consumer buys something in the shop, it encourages manufacturers to produce even more to meet demand. The production process isn’t, normally, environmentally-friendly. Therefore, it’s important that we lessen the amount of materialistic goods that are made in the first place.
According to inews, a piece of clothing is worn seven times before being discarded, on average. This only further highlights the wasteful nature of fast fashion and the industry that supports it. If you need something new, look at buying items from charity shops, eBay, Facebook Marketplace or even Gumtree.
If you’re in need of new furniture, buy products made from reclaimed wood. Alternatively, you could buy an old piece from a friend and restore it yourself. Not only will you prevent it from being wasted, but you’ll also save a lot of money when compared to the price of brand new furniture.
Reuse what you can
Opting for reusable products will help to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. This is because you won’t be buying single-use plastics or producing waste in the form of disposable coffee cups.
Buy reusable mugs, metal or wooden food storage boxes, electric razors or durable shopping bags. Each of the aforementioned products can be used time and time again, thus saving the planet and your bank account.
Understand the waste you’re throwing away
Monitoring the waste you’re producing, and understanding the materials it’s made up of, will help you generate less rubbish. You should also look into the detrimental effects some items have on the environment once they have been thrown away.
This will enable you to make more informed decisions about the products you buy and why some should be avoided. It’s recommended that anyone looking to go zero-waste should boycott items made from plastic or manufactured overseas.
Look to shop as locally as possible as they often have more eco-friendly packaging. Local stores also adopt sustainable practices in a bid to be more attractive to their customers. Also, each item they sell isn’t likely to have accumulated any air miles, which is also beneficial to the environment.
Try homemade solutions to reduce waste
You’ll be able to make a variety of household products using the ingredients in your pantry. From cleaning agents to hairspray, it’ll be far less expensive and more eco-friendly when you make certain items at home. For cleaning, try using a mixture of water, vinegar and lemon juice. If you want to make your own hairspray, use a combination of vodka, oranges and sugar.
Willshee’s are proud to be able to offer responsible, sustainable waste management solutions to customers throughout Burton-on-Trent and the surrounding areas. We’re pleased to have a number of skip hire options available, together with several other waste management services for your absolute convenience. You can rest assured that we aim to recycle 100% of the waste we collect, some of which will be turned into biofuel. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our team – we’re always happy to help.