Monday, 4 September 2017

Simple Switches to Reduce Waste.

This week (4th-8th September) is zero waste week. Five days that are dedicated to raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste alongside encouraging people to do what they can to reduce the amount of waste that they produce. 

Zero waste is something that I've been interested in for a fair while now, although in all honesty, implementing it is not as easy as I thought it would be. We live in a world wrapped in plastic and the reality I found is that it's hard to avoid. I feel this is a particular issue in mainstream supermarkets where the waste free options can be quite limited - even when it comes to fruit and veg. 

I know that many zero wasters shop at bulk stores where you can buy package free dry goods e.g. grains, oats etc. The unfortunate thing is I don't have anything like this nearby, nor have I managed to find a good greengrocer to buy my fruit and veg from. 

It blows my head that virtually everything you throw in your bin ends up buried in the ground. We only have one Earth and we are literally filling it with rubbish. Alongside this, the oceans are also teaming with plastic. Around 8 million tonnes of plastic is being dumped into our oceans each year, to the point that it's killing off marine life and if you eat fish it's ultimately ending up in your food chain.

The thing is, this culture of throw away, single use plastic is not sustainable. So I'm keen to do what I can to reduce my waste and work towards living more of a zero waste lifestyle. Today I thought I'd share a few simple switches that you can make to your everyday life that will help to reduce the amount of waste you produce and ultimately help you take small steps towards helping the planet.

Today marks the start of zero waste week, and so I thought I'd share some simple switches that you can use to help reduce your waste


DITCH THE PLASTIC BAG

Take your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket rather than purchasing single use plastic bags. I think the 5p charge placed on plastic bags in the UK has really helped in reducing the number of plastic bags used since it came into effect in October 2015. 

I always aim to take reusable bags with me - I have some stored in my car and I even have a small fold up bag in my handbag for if I just pop to the shop for 1 or 2 items.

I also try to ditch plastic bags for fruit and vegetables where possible. When buying loose veggies I try to weigh them myself and put them into my own reusable bag, rather than the plastic bags provided by supermarkets. 

CHOOSE RECYCLABLE

If you can't ditch the packaging altogether then try to locate items in packaging that is easier to recycle e.g. card and glass. This means that once you're finished with your item you can pop the packaging into your recycling bin, rather than in a bin bag that will end up in the ground. 

I try to recycle as much as a possibly can and that's not just for food items but for other items too. Rather than putting items in the bin, I'll take them to my local recycling centre if I know they'll accept them. I'll also drop unwanted items such as clothes, trinkets and lightly used household items at my local charity shop rather than binning them.

SWITCH SANITARY PRODUCTS

A woman will use on average 11,000 disposable sanitary products throughout her reproductive life. That's a huge amount of waste that could be avoided by the use of reusable sanitary products. No only do sanitary products contribute to waste, but they're also chemically processed and bleached which is honestly not something I want in close contact with my lady bits. 

In the last year I've switched to fully reusable sanitary products in the form of a Mooncup and cloth sanitary pads. Both of these items can be used time and time again and are honestly far more comfortable to wear than traditional sanitary pads and tampons. I simply wash them after use and store them away once my periods finished until the next month. They even take up less space than packs of pads and tampons.

Another item I'm trying to replace with a reusable alternative is cotton wool. I purchased some reusable makeup wipes that are made from fabric off cuts to use in place of this when removing making and cleansing my face. They're so much softer on my skin and I just pop them in the wash in a little laundry bag each week.

CHOOSE REUSABLE

There are many ways you can utilise reusable products in order to reduce waste. Some of the things I  try to do include reusing packaging where I can e.g. jars. I don't by singe use plastic water bottles as I have my trusty 2.2l dual bottle that comes with my most places (although admittedly this is plastic, I guess aluminium would be better). I've switched to an aluminium safety razor with replaceable blades rather than disposable plastic razors (the blades last SO much longer too). I use a bamboo toothbrush that is fully compostable, even the bristles. And finally, I'm currently waiting on a Keepcup too which I intend to take with me when I grab a coffee and ask them to pop it in the Keepcup rather than the non-recyclable cups.

COMPOST

Composting my food waste has definitely helped cut the amount of rubbish I place in the bin. Last year I purchased a compost bin and ever since I've been collecting my food scraps and popping them in, alongside garden waste. As I eat a vegan diet, the majority of food I tend to prepare can be composted, which means there's very little food waste that actually goes in my bin. I know some areas in the UK accept food waste with the bin collections, which unfortunately my local area doesn't do, however, if your area does then make the most of it!

Alongside food you can also compost brown paper, egg cartons, toilet/kitchen roll tubes and pet hair (amongst many, many other things).

Like I said, these are just a few simple switches that require minimal effort and can easily become part of your regular routine. I really encourage you to consider ways you can reduce your waste and reduce your overall footprint on our gorgeous planet. 

Let's start a conversation:
Is there anything you already do to try reduce your waste? Or is there anything above that you're keen to try out? I'd love for you to leave your thoughts either in the comments below, or drop me a tweet @_hellojordan. You can also join the zero waste conversation this week by using #zerowasteweek


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5 comments:

  1. These are really great tips :) I've been thinking about how to make my skin care routine more eco-friendly as I currently use cotton pads and miscellar cleansing water so reusable makeup wipes sound great.

    Hannah x

    www.hannahgetshench.com

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  2. I definitely try and buy less packaging as it can just be ridiculous sometimes! I've really upped my recycling too. I never thought about the sanitary products thing - I've been considering a moon cup which will be much friendlier!

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  3. That's the good thing you are spreading awareness to peoples through your blog.. firstly local government should strictly allow the rules to using disposable and recyclable items then something can expect. there are lots of ideas but they need to apply in real life. thanks your doing your part very well keep it up

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  4. Great tips and I think it's really awesome that you're taking this conversation into the blogging world to get more people thinking about it. I admit I out of habit am a chronic plastic bag user at the supermarkets but I'll try to get myself a couple of reusable bags so I can use those instead!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts and leave a comment, it's very much appreciated!!

Jordan xx