Top Tips for Reducing Waste
Think! Can you reuse or recycle or compost rather than sending to
You can recycle the following in your blue lidded recycle bin in
o Paper & cardboard
o Food & drink cans
o Glass bottles & jars
o Plastic bottles
Reuse wrappers for packed lunches etc for example: - inner
wrapping from cereal boxes, old foil, and old bread bags.
Break free from junk mail. http://www.stopjunkmail.org.uk/ &
cancel catalogues, directories which you don’t need or can look at
Think reusable and refillable. Micro fibre cloths don’t need
chemicals at all. Eco balls reduce washing detergent. Look at refillable
sanitary products. Refill office cartridges. Ecover have a refill service
for cleansers etc. Also available from some cosmetic companies see
Try growing your own food – start simple – a few herbs, some
lettuce, fresh food no packaging!
Reduce food waste, shop more often and buy less. Use up leftovers,
use your freezer more. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for
some fabulous tips. Use a food waste digester to dispose of any food
waste (look at the Mid Sussex website for details).
Compost. You have lost of choices – Compost bin, Wormery, Green
Cone, Green Johanna, bokashi bin (you don’t even need a garden for
this one!) – ask for details.
Plan well – even when you’re out – waste free picnics and packed
lunches are very doable. Take reusable cups with you.
Repair – clothes and gadgets where possible.
Exchange – freecycle, ebay, charity shops. One persons junk is
another’s treasure! You can find homes for many unwanted items, and
find yourself new things without an extra environmental impact.
Go virtual – download your favourite magazines and read papers
online. Register for online bills (often saves money too) Download
music and movies and games.
Use the local library if you don’t want to go the whole virtual hog!
Use rechargeable batteries and goods – torches, phones, mp3
players, radios etc
Give recycled gifts or virtual gifts – plant tree, buy a goat etc
Polythene packaging – can be sent for recycling see -
Clothes / toys / books / tools / plant / seed swap with
neighbours & friends.
Clothing – use a clothing bank, 99% of clothing donated to the
Salvation army is re-used. About 80% of the people in the UK wear
only 20% of the clothes they own. You don't need 20 white shirts!
Narrow your wardrobe down to what you actually wear and be more
discriminating about what you buy. Do you really need it? Will you
wear it? How often?
Donate books to library / hospital / hospice. If not then recycle them.
Make a meal from leftovers. Once a week make a meal from what’s
in the fridge.
Reuse bags. If you have to get any shopping in a bag that you didn’t
take with you be sure to re-use it. If you have a supermarket delivery
ask them to take their bags back.
Try to buy loose - without packaging where possible.
Read it & swap it take a look at Book Mooch - bookmooch.com
Savvy shopping – choose products packaged in materials you can
recycle in Mid Sussex. Buy food that you will use before it goes past
its best. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging (especially items such as
household cleaners. Or things you can put in the freezer) Bulk buying –
could you share with neighbour or friend?
Avoid over packaged items such as dishwasher tablets that are
individually wrapped in plastic.
Try Real Nappies
Reusable sanitary protection – once tried most women are
Aim for a waste free packed lunch
Paper re-use – note pads, envelopes, drawing paper.
Glass jars - re-use for storage in the kitchen or for DIY storage. Paint
and use as tea light holders.
Packaging gifts - try using plain popped popcorn as packaging to
protect gifts. Its not only very cheap and fun to make but can be
composted by the gift recipient!
Unwanted glasses can be taken to either Dolland and Aitchinson
opticians or Help the Aged stores. Send spectacles in good condition
(they do not take broken frames or bifocals) to the charity Vision Aid
Overseas, 12 The Bell Centre, Newton Road, Manor Royal, Crawley,
West Sussex. RH10 2FZ .
Cooking Oil can be composted. It's best to mix it first with paper and
cardboard. A cooking oil and sand mixture will clean garden forks and
spades, or if diluted with paraffin it can be rubbed onto outdoor
wooden furniture to add life to it.
Garden - Large plastic bottles make great mini greenhouses and keep
slugs out! Old car tyres stacked on one another make great planters
for potatoes. Ice lolly sticks can be used to make labels for your plants.
Use old egg boxes as seed trays
How you shop
Consider the following when shopping for food:
1. Can we justify its purchase, do we need it?
2. Can we recycle, compost, or reuse the packaging?
3. Does it have a reasonable shelf life without going off or spoiling?
4. Is it a convenience food that could be avoided?
In addition to the question on food you may also consider these questions for
other consumer goods
1. Is it ethically made and fairly traded?
2. Is it made from non-sustainable materials?
3. Does the manufacturing process involve mining?
4. Does it have a short life expectancy?
5. Does it have built in obsolescence or perceived out dating?
Close the Loop! Basically there is no point in recycling if there is no end
market for the product.
Try to buy recycled products wherever you can. Look for recycled
paper products such as toilet roll, wrapping paper, note paper.
Shop Smart - make a list and stick to it in the supermarket, we buy a
lot of food that just gets thrown away. Not only will you reduce waste
but you will save yourself money too.
Try to avoid buying items with large & unnecessary amounts of
When you buy a pint of milk or a soft drink, think about the container
it is in. It is better to choose the product in the container you know you
can recycle locally.
Try to reuse bags whenever possible and refuse uneccessary bags.
Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate
an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.
Most supermarkets offer some kind of ‘bag for life' scheme, you buy a
bag for 10p and re-use it until it wears out then they replace it free of
Buy loose products wherever possible to cut down on packaging.
Buy re-usable goods rather than single-use disposable items wherever
possible, for example- nappies, razors, and cameras.
Buy refill packs or look for returnable bottles wherever possible.
Wherever possible buy refillable plastic containers.
Buy larger packs of food and split them -e.g putting some bread buns
in the freezer for later (in a reusable freezer bag of course!), splitting
packs of biscuits into lunch boxes rather than buying individually
Why not try to buy birthday or Christmas gifts made from recycled / fairly
traded / organic materials. This is more environmentally sustainable. There
are lots of websites now offering a wide selection gifts for all occasions.
You could also consider giving waste-free gifts such as tickets to the theatre
or cinema, or a voucher for a massage or a lesson such as sky diving.
Food Waste - www.lovefoodhatewaste.com excellent site for tips on
reducing food waste, using up leftovers, storing food and much more
Recycle for West Sussex www.recycleforwestsussex.org all about
recycling facilities in West Sussex.
For Better Tomorrows details of waste reduction initiatives in West
Recycling in Mid Sussex www.midsussex.gov.uk/recycling use the
links on the right for more information, look at All About Recycling
page which includes Top Tips for reducing your waste.
My Zero Waste www.myzerowaste.com lots of information from a
family who are aiming for ‘zero waste’. Very useful website!
Junk Mail www.mpsonline.org.uk choose the mail you want and
reduce junk mail.
Real Nappies www.goreal.org.uk real nappy information service
Food Waste Digesters www.greencone.com information about food
Freecycle www.freecycle.org find your nearest freecycle group
Freegle the same as freecycle – log on and find local new homes for
your unwanted things, people come and collect or you can deliver.
Polythene packaging www.polyprint.co.uk/recycling send your
polythene mailing wrappers for recycling.
Waste Prevention Advisors www.westsussexwpa.org.uk how to
become a volunteer Waste Prevention Advisor within West Sussex
Recycling Guide www.recycling-guide.org.uk
Reduce reuse recycle www.reducereuserecycle.co.uk lots of ideas!
Recycle More http://www.recycle-more.co.uk/ one-stop recycling