Which is the best solution for getting waste out of your home quickly?
Maintaining a clean home can a challenge in a family household. Young families create a lot of waste which takes up a lot of space – especially if you are trying to sort rubbish into different types. You then need to dispose of each type of rubbish in the right place at the right times. Rubbish removal can quickly become a very time-consuming chore especially when local authorities seem to be reducing the frequency of rubbish collection and increasing the complexity of waste disposal whilst also increasing fines for people who don’t dispose of their waste as directed. It can be tempting to avoid recycling entirely and just take everything to the tip each week!!
There are some things you can do to make your domestic waste management easier whilst also being able to play your part to help the environment. The most effective of these is minimising the things you bring into your home in the first place and cutting down on your food waste.
Most of your household waste is actually product packaging. Try buying food that does not need to be unwrapped or un-tinned which often means avoiding ready meals and buying loose fruit and veg. You will find that rice, beans, cereals, teas and spices are often in paper or glass packing which can be recycled and they can also be bought in bulk which saves packaging. Use a butcher than uses wax paper rather than plastic wrapping, the same goes for cheese and fish.
One of the main sources of waste can be from consumers buying bottled water and soft drinks in plastic packaging. Many of these plastics are not even recycled and are simply left to decompose, taking around 450 years to do so. Invest in a water filter – they are cheap and do not take up much space and will give you unlimited clean drinking water. Re-use water bottles rather than buying a new one each time you go to the gym or pack your kids a lunch. If you really can’t live without your soft and fizzy drinks, why not consider making your own? There are some fantastic recipes on the internet and cheap home soda makers.
Those coffee pods are nice and easy but they produce a huge amount of waste. Is it really that hard to boil a kettle and use a cafetiere? If you can’t live without ‘press of a button’ coffee then consider getting a bean to cup machine. These work in a very similar way to coffee pod machines but use less waste because you use whole beans. Every week or so you add whole beans to a storage container. Each time you want a coffee the machine grinds fresh beans for your cup. No pod waste and also the freshest coffee you will ever drink. These machines are not much more than the pod machines so you should really consider getting one.
For Bulkier Supplies
Furniture and IT equipment are so cheap these days it can be very tempting to simply throw away things you don’t want any more and buy new ones. This is incredibly wasteful – all that energy and those materials that were used to construct these items are wasted. Not only that they will be taking up space in landfill and causing pollution too. There is always a suitable home for old furniture or IT equipment. Why not take it to a charity shop for donation, a local school or home for the elderly. The fastest way of taking it from your home is by hiring a van. Be sure to look up the correct size you need online, by looking up comparison websites like Man and Van Size Guide, as you should only hire a van based on the size of your objects you are donating. You can consider the cost of van hire to be a charity donation. You can also advertise your items on a site like preloved or freecycle and simply insist that the person who wants the goods arranges for them to be collected from you.
Many of the cosmetics we use every day are liquid and they are mostly made up of water. All this water bulk uses loads of energy in transit and requires loads of plastic to make up their containers. You can vastly reduce your plastic waste from these products in four ways;
1) Buy refills which come in soft thin packaging rather than always buying a new hard plastic bottle. You can reduce your packaging use by over 70% doing this.
2) Buy concentrated refills rather than diluted versions.
3) Don’t overuse. Big squirts of washing up liquid and handfuls of shampoo or shower gel are excessive. Get used to only using what you need rather than wasting most of your product down the plughole.
4) Consider using good old fashioned hard soap and newfangled shampoo balls. Hard soap lasts and lasts. You will find a single bar of soap will last longer than 4 bottles of hand wash. Eco-providers are now also starting to sell shampoo bars – it looks like soap but you rub it on wet hair instead of using shampoo. Get your family using these products and you won’t be generating any plastic waste from them at all. You will also find that you don’t need to buy anything like as much making your weekly shop simpler.
You should aslo have a good rummage through your bedroom and bathroom. How many bottles of perfume, shampoo and body lotion have you built up over the years? Make sure you store it where it is easliy accessible and don’t buy any more until you have used up everything you have got.
About 40% of the food we grow actually ends up in the bin. This is a huge waste of energy, water, packaging and fridge space. Review your fridge every couple of days and make sure you use up anything that looks like it is getting old. Soups, stir-fries and risottos are a great way to use up pretty much anything. Review your freezer every month and your dry goods every couple of months. You will also find that this saves you a fortune on your weekly shop.