In the past few years, the problem with plastic has become a huge issue and with the impact on the environment now impossible to ignore, we all need to do what we can. In our July blog article, we talked about the Get More Vits Plastics Pledge and our strategy to limit our own impact on the planet, now as part of National Recycle Week, we are sharing our Top 10 Tips on cutting waste, so you can do your bit too.
Remember, it’s not just plastics where you can make a difference, there are a whole host of ways you can start cutting your waste right now including food, clothes and toiletries too, here’s our top 10:
- Stop buying stuff! First and foremost, ask yourself the question, do I really need it? Buying new things is contributing to demand as well as the by-products of the production process. Stop and take a moment to appreciate what you have before making your next purchase.
Check out charity shops – fast fashion is one of the most destructive industries on the planet with the world consuming around 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. So, if you’re after something specific, look for second hand on eBay or other resale sites and if you’re looking for inspiration try your local charity shops.
- Shop locally – bakers, butchers, fishmongers and grocers tend to use far less packaging and often sell individual items rather than a bumper pack of sausages you don’t necessarily need. If they do use packaging, it is usually paper bags, but you could also take your own bags/Tupperware to carry things home and reduce waste further.
- Invest in reusable versions of items you use daily – such as beeswax wrap rather than clingfilm, a portable cutlery set for eating on the go, metal straws, glass jars, good quality Tupperware in a variety of sizes which are great for portioning up and storing batch cooked meals, as well as smaller items you can carry in your bag, reusable water bottles and a portable coffee mug.
- Be prepared – a little prep time can go a long way and will not only reduce your plastic usage but also save you money. Rather than buying food on the go, get snack happy and chop up some veggie sticks or carry a packet of oatcakes and make your own houmous, or get creative and bake muffins, flapjacks or protein balls. Wholemeal wraps are also a great option for sandwiches and tend to last a long longer than regular bread.
- Buy dried foods in bulk – find out where you can fill up on food essentials such as rice, pasta, oats, spices, coffee and flour with your own containers, such as health food shops and zero waste stores. They often also have refillable options for toiletries and household products including cleaners and detergents.
- Don’t forget your bags when you go shopping – this is so easily done but try to make sure you always have a few ‘bags for life’ or canvas shoppers in the car and invest in reusable shopping bags that fold up into tiny pouches to live in your handbag.
Use everything up before buying more – be honest, how long have you had that tin of tomatoes lurking around in the back of your cupboard or that one last onion in your vegetable drawer? A quick google can turn any ingredient into a meal and if you always have a selection of key staples you might not need to make that trip to the shops after all.
- Stock up on staples – beans, lentils and chickpeas form a great base for any nutritious meal, packed with protein and fibre they are cheap to buy and easy to cook with, add a veggie chilli to your weekly repertoire.
- Plan your meals – this is a great tactic, not only is this cost-effective, but it may also help your waistline. Spend an hour a week thinking about what you would like to eat in the coming days so you’re fully prepared when hitting the shops and less likely to be swayed by impulse buys and takeaways. It’s also worth thinking about meals which might stretch to leftovers for lunch or those you can freeze for quick and easy dinners at a later date.
We hope our tips on cutting your waste will inspire you to shop more responsibly and make small lifestyle changes that will have a big impact.
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