It’s now more important than ever to do our bit for the environment. Thinking about the products we buy, and how we dispose of them, can help to reduce the trash we produce at home. We want to help. So here are 5 of our top tips to reduce your waste at home
While the idea of reducing your waste can be overwhelming, a great place to start is within the comfort of your own home.
1) Plan your meals for the week
There is always danger when heading to the supermarket without a clear plan of action. You go in without aim and before you know it, you’re bringing home that second sieve you didn’t realize you needed.
Seriously though, going to the store without a plan is very much like going when you’re hungry. Most of the time you’ll end up with an assortment of unrelated ingredients. Rarely anything that can be fashioned into an actual meal. Sure, Twinkies are great, but you’re not going to sprinkle some over your pasta. If you are, a lack of planning is the least of your worries.
When planning meals for the week, it’ll quickly become apparent that most rely on a core set of ingredients (onions, garlic, chopped tomatoes) – depending on your tastes – of course. From there you can branch out into the specifics of each meal. Planning this way means you always have something for dinner and your efforts in the kitchen continue to look like actual cooking rather than alchemy. It is fun sometimes to experiment, but after a day at work, having a failsafe dish is all anyone really needs.
We know – “packaging company tells you to reduce packaging”. To make the case, we will start with a classic.
Do bananas really need to be wrapped in a bag?
The pandemic has reinforced the fact that single-use packaging is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean we can’t re-evaluate our relationship with it. Can the packaging be recycled or composted? If the answer to both is “no”, are alternative options available? Why not consider a visit to your local zero-waste store?
3) Mug up on your waste streams
Understanding what goes where is critical to reducing your waste at home. We get it, it’s confusing to understand what goes where and different local authorities have different rules. However, chance is your weekly shop features a consistent group of products. If you know exactly how to dispose of a product’s packaging – you’ll also know for next week, and the week after. Suddenly, organising your waste becomes habit rather than a minefield.
No one likes taking the bins out. Yet, ensuring that recyclable material and food waste isn’t ending up in landfill is a great way of feeling positive. It is a small, but invaluable contribution.
4) Eat seasonally
We all get hankerings for certain foods. But have you noticed how strawberries often taste better in summer? It’s no surprise that strawberries grown in California in the correct season are going to taste fresher and therefore better than ones grown further afield. Don’t forget, you can always make use of your freezer. Frozen berries or peas can bring you a summer vitamin hit in the depths of winter. Think of it as reducing wasted air miles.
5) Get creative
Meal planning is great, but some days don’t always work out. Sometimes you just have to improvise. There will be moments in the week where your cupboards look bare and nothing in your fridge will look particularly appetising. This is where your creativity needs to come to the fore. If you can park the hanger to one side, you may be surprised as to what you can produce.
There are people out there who seem able to produce delicious meals from the most random assortment of ingredients. This way, you are forced to find a purpose for ingredients and don’t allow them to go to waste. There are even sites and apps that can help you!
Imagine yourself participating in a culinary Taskmaster – have fun!
A Vegware zero waste success story
Find out about composting Vegware here.
Put them in general waste – PLA in incineration creates more energy than newspaper, wood or food waste, and it doesn’t emit volatile gases.
Don’t put used Vegware in normal recycling – be sure to only put in the standard plastics that are collected in your local area
Find out more about how to reduce food waste here