A Few Ways I Am Cutting Down Waste

A Few Ways I Am Cutting Down Waste

Waste. A buzzword at the moment and with good reason. The planet is gradually getting clogged up with rubbish that has been discarded carelessly and it’s breaking my heart. The world is losing its ability to breath.

I do a lot of walking and no matter where I go, I see plastic. I could be in the middle of the moors and still find sweet wrappers and plastic bottles strewn left, right and centre. I will never understand people who litter. What makes them think it’s ok to do that? It blows my mind. Just take it home with you and recycle. It’s as easy as that!

A story popped up on BBC news this week about my old stomping ground that prompted me to get cracking with this post. South West Water have discovered a 64-foot fat-berg in the sewers under Sidmouth’s promenade. A fat-berg is a collection of fats that have been discarded down drains alongside baby wipes and face wipes that have been flushed away. These congeal together to create a mass blockage. This blockage in Sidmouth is going to take 8 weeks worth of man hours to dig out and disperse. What a waste of resources. Admittedly some people might think that “flushable” wet wipes and face wipes bio-degrade but many don’t. The answer is don’t flush. In fact don’t use. We all need to try and make small differences in our day to day lives to help our world breath again. I stopped using face wipes about 3 years ago. That was the start of my journey in reducing the amount of waste I create. My alternative is a good old fashioned face wash with a bamboo cloth.

Don’t worry! This post won’t be full of scary facts and figures or “you HAVE to change now” tactics. That’s just not my bag. What it will be is a little insight into how I am making a change for the better at home and at work. I must add that I am in no ways perfect but I do hope that I am doing a little something towards the greater worldwide effort.

If we could all make just a few small changes in how we shop and think about what we throw away, our collective efforts might possibly do something. Who knows, it might go a little way towards helping reduce plastic pollution and create a better world for the next generation.

A Few Ways I Am Reducing Waste

Bathroom Waste

My bathroom is like many others. It has plastic bottles and tubes in it. I have however made sure that all of them can be recycled. I readily admit it is baby steps here at the moment. My products need to finish up before I move on to phase two. Instead of shower gel and hand wash, I have already switched to a bar of soap. I have also swapped my brand of shampoo and conditioner to one that is kinder to the planet with no nasties included in the list of ingredients. My next step here is to refill. The Real Food Store in Exeter is my local refill store. I am already a regular there for my groceries and store cupboard essentials so I should take advantage of their zero waste facilities when it comes to bathroom products too.

I use Nura and Aromatika Skincare products on my body and face which are made locally with no nasty ingredients. All of their packaging is fully recyclable or reusable. To read about Nura click here.

A useful website to hunt out your nearest zero waste shop like the Real Food Store is ZeroWaster.

My next task is to find an alternative to cotton wool pads and tampons. Any suggestions or recommendations would be hugely appreciated.

Food Waste

I can proudly say as a household we don’t waste food. Throwing food away just seems crazy to me. I love the challenge of creating meals out of what’s left in my fridge or cupboards. It’s surprising what you can make sometimes whilst using up all the odds and ends in your cupboards.

I don’t do a big supermarket shop anymore and tend to pick up stuff on my way to and from work when needed. I have found in the past that items purchased in a big shop tend to get forgotten about at the back of the fridge and normally come wrapped in plastic to boot. This is something I can’t live with now. I would rather visit my local farmers market and aforementioned Real Food Store for my in-season fresh veggies. I get that not everyone can do this due to time restraints but maybe sharing what I do with my shopping habits might spur you on to be a little more mindful of what goes in your shopping basket?

I have stopped buying cold drinks in plastic bottles when I am out. I take my own as I have done for years to my ballet classes. I also have a keep cup that I take with me everywhere for my out of home caffeine hit.

I haven’t used cling film for over a year. Tuppaware and plates covering bowls being my preferred method of storing these days.

Office Waste

I often get sent stuff to sample for the blog which tends to come in big cardboard boxes with plastic air pocket protectors inside. I tend to reuse this where possible and what I can’t gets recycled.

I only accept samples from companies I know I am likely to feature so that I don’t have products hanging around going to waste. My friends do quite well out of me when I can’t use everything up. Share the love, right?

I try and live in a paperless world avoiding printing stuff out on paper unless absolutely necessary. I elect to receive bills and statements via email or try and find an app if possible. I use e-tickets as an alternative to something physical.

If like me, you receive lots of catalogues and junk mail in the post then make a point of removing yourself from these mailing lists. 

Clothing Waste

Charity and vintage shop shopping is a passion of mine and I can categorically say that 85% (possibly more!) of my wardrobe is pre-loved. I am proud of this and have been clothes shopping this way since I was a teenager. What I don’t want or use anymore gets passed on to friends at our bi-annual clothes swaps. A great way of updating the wardrobe without the waste or the cost.

The following 15% would have been purchased new but I am always careful where I buy from. I haven’t visited the likes of Primark for at least 5 years. I just don’t want to spend my hard earned money there.

I think that’s about it! I know I have a long way to go but with a little more research I will get there. As a community, if we encourage each other in a non-judgemental way then we can all make a difference. I would love to hear how you are doing your bit and if you have any suggestions to pass on please do. My ears are open.

Additional photographs Angel Wade and Chantelle Bridgman

8 thoughts on “A Few Ways I Am Cutting Down Waste

    1. Thanks for this. Yes, I have heard of Moon Cups. I have friends that have used them with positive and negative results. I am definitely interested so will check out their website. I should imagine there would be a financial saving as well as eliminating waste?

  1. Every little helps (as they say!)
    You’ve probably seen at work that I use Bees Wax wraps for taking sarnies in – there is also now a vegan version. I also have what are called, UniLids – a set of different sized round silicon ‘lids’ that stretch over your bowls etc to keep the contents fresh (there is also rectangle one). They also have little day dial on the top so you can keep track of when they were first stored. I’m trying to get better at meal planning so I don’t end up throwing stuff out.
    In the bathroom I have used Lush shampoo bars and their bottle free shower gel bars (but must admit I don’t have any at the mo having been gifted some smellies at Christmas! I have been using Natural Deodorant Company does for a while now (and hopefully they work as you’ve never told me I smell 😉 – they come in glass jars so no plastic there.
    This short article has a few suggestions for low waste periods https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/6-products-and-honest-tips-for-a-low-waste-healthy-period?fbclid=IwAR14eiHitFzqszZcJCc03XRtf0krQyABGAKosBIQkQPsiPXvJltm8FrPL40
    I still have a long way to go but will be checking out the Real Food Store – didn’t know they did bathroom products.

    1. Yes, I had noticed the wraps and they are on my list to purchase once payday hits! I haven’t heard of the Natural Deodorant Company before so that’s one to put on my growing list of products to check out.
      Thanks for having a read!

  2. Hi Tara, thanks for this.

    I can absolutely recommend a combination of a menstrual cup and cloth pads (I use Lunette + Etsy has a great selection of local makers for the pads) – it is infinitely more comfortable and convenient (shop runs no more!). Surprisingly no hassle too.

    I switched to a cloth version of makeup pads from Etsy and I use coconut oil to remove makeup (the best for waterproof eyeliner and my skin). Very happy with both changes. Hope this helps.

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