2020 is here, a whole new decade and I am confidant that we can all make the changes needed this year to really make a difference to the planet by reducing our waste, consumption and energy use!
So lets do this together! This year I will be posting loads of brilliant features to support your zero waste challenge and help make it as easy as possible.
So, this is your year – it may look a little daunting right now but step by step you will find making these changes simply becomes part of life and will feel fantastic! Chances are you are already doing most of them anyway!
Are you ready? Lets do this!!!
Commit to eating less meat
Meatless Mondays are a great start, I have some great recipes on my website to get you started!
When you do buy meat try the local Butchers, and if you really can’t afford that then Supermarkets will often let you take your own container for meat from the counter rather than plastic packaged.
Pledge to stop buying plastic bottled drinks, condiments and sauces.
Did you know that glass and aluminium can be recycled infinitely whereas plastic has a limited recycling life, then it just ends up in landfill. Ketchup and mayonnaise are brilliant examples of these easy swaps, and if you want a drink on the go, buy it in a can or glass and recycle when finished. Both glass and aluminium can be infinitely recycled
Strive to switch out one disposable item every month throughout the year
Try swapping plastic boxed washing capsules for cardboard box powder, tissue pouches for a handkerchief, and plastic cleaning sponges for re-usable cotton cloths. You can make dusters from old t-shirts. Buy produce bags from Carrinet Veggio produce bags, you can use them when buying loose fruit, vegetable, sweets, bread, anything! (Available at 2 Minute Beach Clean)
Make your own cleaning products
I really enjoy making all of my own cleaning products, and all you need is white vinegar, water, borax, bicarb of soda, an essential oil like sustainably produced tea tree oil and citrus peelings. No more chemicals and bottles to recycle! Check out my recipe guide….
In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year. If you can start carrying a re-usable coffee cup think of the difference you are helping to make. You can by your cup from a charity that is trying to make a difference to the planet like Marine Conservation Society, 2 Minute Beach Clean and Surfers Against Sewage. Or your local hard-wear store, supermarket or garden centre normally sells them these days!
Take part in a litter pick or beach clean.
My beach cleans run in Seaford on the first Sunday of every month at 10am (email: firstname.lastname@example.org for locations). You will find organised beach cleans across the country, and even inland park and street cleans too. But you don’t need to join a group one, you can just head out with a pair of gloves and tote bag and start collecting on your own!
Choose one item that comes in a non-recyclable package, and give it up for the whole year
Crisps are a brilliant example for this challenge (you can make your own from potato/vegetable peelings), plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, bottles of shampoo to shampoo bars or refill bottles; bars of soap rather than plastic bottle soap dispenser… there are loads more ideas on my website so take a look and take up the challenge!
Switch to LED lights in your house
LED lights will save you money as they use a lot less electricity, yes they cost more than standard halogen but in the long run will last a lot longer too! It has been reported that switching all your bulbs to LED can cut your lighting bill by 90% per year!
Challenge yourself to ‘not buy new’
Charity shops are emporiums of used but useful items not to mention money savers! From clothes to crockery, toys to DVD’s they have it all these days. I’m lucky enough to live near Brighton, which has a plethora of vintage clothes shops too which are brilliant fun to rummage through! Ebay is also a powerhouse for second hand bargains!
Try to eat seasonally
Sounds simple but when you have become used to being able to have what you want when you want it this change can be difficult at first! Eating seasonal locally grown food with hugely improve the carbon footprint on your meal, imagine how much CO2 those Avocados from Ethiopia have created versus the tomatoes from Hampshire?
Switch your energy provider
There are loads of green energy providers popping up these days thanks to the amazing advances in wind and solar technology. Try switching to one that uses renewables like Bulb (https://bulb.co.uk), they normally end up costing less than traditional suppliers.
When you buy gifts be it for birthdays or festivities, don’t wrap in glittery paper or plastic ribbon, instead use brown paper or cloth with cloth ribbon. The glitter and metallic on gift wrap cannot be recycled, and if they make it into the recycling process can contaminate a whole batch making good recyclables end up in landfill.
Good luck Zero Wasters! And remember if your confused about something just ask – i’m always happy to help!