When picking each item, ask yourself if there is an alternative product which will end up being less wasteful, or more recyclable. This could be buying jars instead of cartons, cardboard packaging over plastic, and so on.
Take some clean sealable plastic boxes to the butcher/deli counter and ask if they would be willing to put the items directly in your box instead of layers of plastic.
When picking up fruits, veggies and other loose items, most stores only offer those flimsy plastic bags. You can get re-usable bags for this (like these) which will end up in less waste and you can just chuck them in the wash if they get dirty.
Buy in bulk – bulk usually means less packaging. So, if you’re buying something (such as toilet paper, for example) which comes in a non-recyclable material, you could buy a large pack, which reduces the product to packaging ratio. This usually works out cheaper, too.
Invest in a few of those teeny reusable shopping bags and stick them in your car/handbag whatever. You can get them everywhere and they’re so useful – and machine washable.
Get a mini scraps bin for your kitchen. If you have a composting bin outside, or space for one, great! If not, ask around for friends or family who do, and ask if you can empty your scraps bin in their composter.
Some places offer collection by local farmers or councils, check it out.
While you can compost most kitchen scraps, you could always re-grow them. Check out this site for tips on which vegetables can be re-grown.
For any veggie scraps that you can’t re-grow, you can chuck them in a bag and freeze them to make a soup base/broth later. Here’s how.
If you don’t manage to finish a loaf of bread or you have stale bread, just put it on a baking tray at your oven’s lowest heat for an hour or so. When the bread is completely dry, chuck it in the blender until it forms breadcrumbs. Decant the crumbs into an airtight jar and you have breadcrumbs to cook with instead of buying them.
Instead of instantly throwing away food when it expires, look it up. Some foods are perfectly safe to eat past their mandated expiry or sell by dates. A good starter guide can be found here.
If you find yourself with any sturdy empty tubs, such as those big protein powder things, ice cream tubs, those black tubs M&S sell those delicious mini flapjacks in, whatever, you can use them in your outside space to plant in. You can plant food, herbs or even just a bunch of wild flowers for the bees.
It’s obvious, but if you can, cancel any paper bills, bank statements, etc. Get online and get emailed documents instead, you’ll reduce your waste with just a few clicks.
Pillows, duvets, sheets, etc. – most animal shelters are in need of such things for bedding, even if they’re knackered by human standards. They might not be recycled, but they’ll get a worthwhile final use.
Join Pinterest! It’s a great resource for free ideas, creative tips,recipes, everything. No cost, no email spam, I love it. If you find yourself with something you think might be repurposable, search it in Pinterest and you might find some more creative uses for it – just look at what you can do with plastic bottles!
Do you have a tip to share? Let me know and spread the knowledge!