Household waste is a big issue. In the UK, we produce enough waste to fill the Albert Hall every two hours, and most of this will end up in landfill sites.
This is not good for the environment, but it can be tackled if we reduce the waste we produce in the first place. Here are some handy tips for reducing the amount of waste we produce. The key message is that we should aim to re-use where we can and recycle what we can’t.
the amount that you buy.
A third of the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away, and this costs the average family approximately £680 a year. It also creates methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas and a significant contributor to climate change. One way of avoiding the route from trolley to landfill is to ask yourself, will the food go off before I get around to eating it?
Do I need it or I am just buying it to make me feel better? Could I get it second hand? Could I get it in a re-fillable container or in a more concentrated version so that it uses less packaging (on average, 25–35% of the waste in our bin is made up of packaging).
For those with Internet access, many organisations now offer secure online billing rather than sending a paper bill each month.
You can also eliminate junk mail by registering for free with the Mail Preference Service (visit www.mpsonline.org.uk, or phone 0845 703 459) to have your name, as well as those of previous residents, removed from direct mail lists.
Re-use them where you can.
Over 13 billion plastic bags are distributed in the UK every year. That’s around 215 per person for the population of the UK. When out on shopping trips, re-use your plastic bags as often as you can or buy a stronger canvas or reusable shopping bag.