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(13 Posts)
AnonEvent Tue 07-Nov-17 09:20:34

We're a family of three, and I've noticed that we generate a LOT more rubbish than our neighbours (three bin bags and three recycling bags on an average week).

I want to cut it down for environmental reasons, to feel a bit better about our impact on the world. And for practical reasons (foxes raided the bin bag that was left next to the full outside bin last night and pood on the items they'd removed).

I know the answer really is 'buy less stuff'.


1. Stop buying packaged fruit and veg (we used to be really good at this, but it's more difficult when our nearest veg outlet is M&S and most things are packaged).

2. Reduce the amount of stuff bought from Amazon, we've had a month of birthdays, and have spent most evenings breaking-down bloody boxes.

3. Give carrier bags back to supermarket delivery person.

4. Actually use the reusable (take-away) coffee cups I bought with the best intentions.

5. Buy salad on an as-needed basis (we're pretty good at avoiding general food waste, but often have to throw away a bag of salad).

6. Get a roasting dish with a lid to reduce tin foil usage.

7. Wash and reuse sandwich/freezer bags if they don't smell of food.

8. Stop buying kitchen roll/floor wipes/convenient wipes of all types and use a cloth.

Do you have any other tips that I've missed?

Mrsallovertheplace Tue 07-Nov-17 12:05:58

Watching with interest, we're a family for four with fortnightly bin collections and I find myself making a trip to the tip at least once in that time. Would love to have less waste.

EnidNextDoor Tue 07-Nov-17 12:10:03

I live in a 2 person household and have a wheel bin. I regularly go three weeks before putting the rubbish bins out. What is it exactly that youre throwing away? Then we can help with that a bit Maybe?

TaylorTinker Tue 07-Nov-17 12:13:04

Do you have a compost heap or bin?

I use (washable) boxes for sandwiches and the freezer. They do take up more storage room however.

formerbabe Tue 07-Nov-17 12:13:34

8. Stop buying kitchen roll/floor wipes/convenient wipes of all types and use a cloth

I do this. Keep the used cloths in a carrier bag and wash them with the tea towels. It's cheaper too.

Cantseethewoods Tue 07-Nov-17 12:20:15

Don't even get the shopping delivered in bags in the first place. They have to offer you bag free delivery I think. No point in giving them back to the deliver guy. They can't reuse them.

I'd also differentiate between types of waste. Cardboard isnt great but at least it decomposes quickly. Plastic is here forever.

AnonEvent Tue 07-Nov-17 12:58:09

Enid I can't even tell you exactly what we've thrown away, however from memory (of what last night's fox left in our front garden):

A large amount of tinfoil (covered in beef juices) from slow cooking beef, packets from beef x 2, more tin foil from wrapping a ham, two fish packets, a bunch of over-cooked vegetables from making stock, 1/4 packet of mange tout, about 10 nappies. We also get through a lot of juice and the worst: bottled fizzy water. Which I see as a real luxury, but is pretty awful for the environment.

We are pretty good at recycling, unfortunately, don't have the garden space for a compost heap Taylor it's a postage-stamp garden that runs along the length of the house, more of a glorified pathway, and our council don't collect food waste. Storage is also at a premium, and we have the classic '55 tupperwares and no matching lids situation'.

Cantsee we used to have the shopping delivered bagless, and they'd bring the pallets to the kitchen table, but since DD was born we tend to get them to dump it (in bags) in the hallway as the shopping is largely delivered after work at DD's dinner/bath time so we want the transaction to be as quick as possible. You're right about differentiating cardboard/aluminium (either decomposes or is easy to recycle) from plastics (basically Earth ruiners). That is a very good starting point for choosing quick pre-packaged goods are 'ok'.

Zoesweet Wed 08-Nov-17 11:06:01

Practice waste segregation. We had that same problem before and really, there isn't much of a solution apart from recycling and segregating waste materials like plastic bottles, degradable and non biodegradable materials. Have 3 separate bins for plastics, papers, and degradable materials.

NoSquirrels Wed 08-Nov-17 12:24:55

Do your neighbours have a child in nappies? If not, don't compare! Nappies will be a massive part of your black bag waste.

Cantseethewoods Wed 08-Nov-17 12:45:51

What I would say (and please don't feel I'm lecturing because I have a long way to go on my path to sustainable lifestyle) is that it's actually easier to make the changes when you realise that not being wasteful is inconvenient (society is so geared up to mindless and wasteful consumption) so you need to choose inconvenience yourself for the greater good (I recommend watching Netflix documentaries if you need a well timed guilt trip - ha ha) and make peace with that decision.

I started taking my lunch to work to avoid packaging waste. It was really annoying to start with and I really resented it but now it's just what I do. I'm saving a fortune as well. Similarly, I told myself that if I don't want a coffee badly enough that I'm prepared to carry the reusable cup around in my bag then I obviously don't want it much, or I just take 15 mins to drink it in the shop in a mug.

But it's about baby steps and consolidating habits. This time last year I tried to go vegan and eliminate plastic overnight. I lasted 4 days. Maybe your baby step is stop drinking bottled water.

DebiNewberry Wed 08-Nov-17 12:55:56

What about getting a soda stream? So you can still have fizzy water? Or is there still waste with that? I don't have one but might be worth looking into?

OutToGetYou Wed 08-Nov-17 13:07:48

"1. Stop buying packaged fruit and veg (we used to be really good at this, but it's more difficult when our nearest veg outlet is M&S and most things are packaged)."

Unpackage it at the till and leave the rubbish there - it's the only way these companies will learn!

I also reuse some of it though, salad bags are fine to store other half-used veg in the fridge rather than a new foodbag. You can rinse them and I 'dry' them by hanging them over the tap to drip.
Bread bags can be used as lunch/sandwich bags, again rather than a new food/sandwich bag. Etc.
If I use a bit of cling film over, say, half an avocado, then I will try and reuse it when I have used the avocado, maybe over a bowl of half a tin of sweetcorn in the fridge. same with foil, I use it several times until it is either over soiled or torn.

Cantseethewoods Wed 08-Nov-17 13:43:52

Unpackage it at the till and leave the rubbish there - it's the only way these companies will learn!

Hi mum!! grin. Seriously though, my mum used to do this in the late 80s and I was so mortified but now I realise she was just way ahead of her time.

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