The responsibility of managing home waste in an environmentally friendly way lies with each household. The aim being to recycle and reuse, so that as little as possible ends up in landfill. It is now much easier than it was to purchase supplies that are biodegradable and eco-friendly, long established companies such as Skyman actively promote compliance with standards of sustainability in their products.
The following six methods of waste management will help you lessen your own carbon footprint and ensure as little waste as possible goes out the door.
It Starts At the Store
Lessening your waste output starts with what you buy in the first place. When you are buying groceries always take reusable cloth bags with you, so that you don’t end up having to use plastic carrier bags.
In addition, try to buy food that has less packaging. If you always purchase the four apples that are triple wrapped in a tray, a plastic mould and cellophane, instead choose the option where you pick the apples individually from the display and put them into a paper bag.
One final tip is to lessen your reliance on bottled water, as all those plastic bottles form a huge part of landfill. Instead have a reusable bottle or flask that you fill and take with you when you go out. If you are concerned about not drinking water from the mains, then invest in a water filter jug or even install a water filter on your kitchen tap.
Get Organised With Recycling
In your kitchen area, have several bins ready to immediately sort your waste into. If you do it as you go along, it is much easier than trying to sort through everything on the day the rubbish is due to be collected. The main sections will be: plastic containers, paper, glass, aluminium cans and foil, and food waste.Try to reuse anything possible, for example large glass coffee jars can be cleaned and used for storing dry goods, such as rice or flour.
The Dual Benefits of Composting
The food scraps, along with garden waste, can be recycled and turned into nutritious compost that be used to enrich your soil. You can create a compost pile in the garden or a compost bin or box.
Compost usually reaches best consistency if you create it using a mix of ‘green’ and ‘brown’ items. Green items break down quickly and are made of waste such as: coffee grounds, raw vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, lawn clippings and leaves.
Brown items break down slowly and include: paper and cardboard, eggshells, sawdust, sticks and branches from the garden.
Don’t Create a Hazard with Waste
There are some materials that need to be disposed of safely, they can’t be thrown in the general rubbish or in recycling, and will usually have to be taken to your local rubbish tip or collection point. Theseare items such as:
- TVs & Computers
- White goods e.g. refrigerators and washing machines
- General electronics
- Light bulbs
Make sure these are disposed on in line with your local council rules.
Creating Less Paper Waste
In today’s digital age no household needs to create a lot of paper waste. Consider these options to lessen your paper footprint:
- Go paperless with bank statement and bills. You can always view your statements online and pay your bills in the same way or via direct debit
- Do you really need paper copies of newspapers and magazines or could you just as easily read them online? Tablet PCs are perfect for this
- Sign up to get your address removed from marketing lists, so that you stop all the junk mail that arrives weekly. The Citizens’ Advice Bureau offers further information on this
Pre-Loved is Perfect
The final step you can take is to buy pre-loved furniture and items and to pass these on to others when you don’t need them any longer. Clothes, toys, crafting materials, books and DVDs can all be either sold or donated to charity shops.
Larger items, such as furniture, kitchen equipment, bicycles etc., can still be useful to others even once their time with you is over. Offer them on sites such as Freegle and Freecycle to stop them ending up going to waste.