You can reduce your rubbish by choosing carefully, buying smart and recycling. Whenever I put the bins out on collection day or look at the amount of rubbish I've accumulated after a house clearance, I can't help think how one person or one household has created all that! With 52 weeks in the year, week after week we're throwing away rubbish at an alarming rate. It's time to reduce rubbish and recycle more, here are some tips to do just that.
Tips to reduce rubbish
Straight away we think 'recycling'. This conjures up images of my cardboard bin, the green bin and way too much packaging on products. It also conjures up a few feelings of guilt that I could do better at recycling. Fortunately, we’re all becoming more aware of what we consume, how much and what goes into the bin. There’s almost certainly a slight wince every time I lift the bin lift to throw something ‘away’ and I’m sure I’m not alone. Recycling is a great way to reduce rubbish and live a little more of a greener life.
Here are some tips for reducing rubbish and recycling
1. Know what you can and can’t recycle
Check with your local council on the rules for your area around what you can and can’t recycle. Each council has it’s own guidelines for paper, cardboard, plastic and tin etc. The Birmingham City Council website for example has a full guide on recycling household rubbish
. It's really useful and knowing what's recycling and what goes where will get you in the habit. Get the whole household involved too, keeping each other accountable is a great way to ensure that you recycle a little more each week and get better at it.
2. Reduce rubbish before it's rubbish
Reduce what we buy
I’m probably jumping ahead a little but there’s a step that goes before recycling. That’s reducing what we buy or the amount we consume in the first place. Personally can't wait for the day coffee pods or capsules can be recycled in some way properly. You have a single serving coffee pod, some coffees require two pods to be used and those get chucked in the bin. Unfortunately not many of the big brands have tackled the issue of recycling yet. Until they do, I’ll have to enjoy instant or fresh ground coffee at home and in the office.
Have a look around at the things you consume. Is there anything that you can improve on a small scale but regularly to start reducing what goes in the bin? Could you use a water filter instead of buying water bottles, use rechargeable batteries and so on.
Reduce unwanted mail
Another one of my big bug bears is unwanted mail. At the end of a week when I look at how much unsolicited and marketing collateral is in my recycling it makes me shudder. You can sign up to the Mailing Preference Service and send mail back to companies to opt out.
3. Buy recycled goods first
Ok I am a marketer’s dream and I’ll always reach for the eco-friendly, recycled products first. As we progress as a society becoming more conscious recycled products are more readily available. Our printer paper in the offie is recycled and we’re always on the look out for re-used or refurbished goods first.
I’m also a big believe in ‘you buy cheap you buy twice’ so I do my best to buy things that will last longer than cheaper substitutes.
If you can't help buying something that thing doesn’t fit in with the council recycling scheme, you can always check for another recycling depot in your area. There is a Terracyle
program now offering hard-to-recycle waste programs. So if you do have a coffee pod machine at home or in the office, you might be able to recycle those pods after all!
If you can’t repair, reuse or repurpose any of your waste yourself there maybe charities, artists or initiatives that can. Before something goes in the rubbish, try give it a fair chance at another life beforehand. It all adds up and you’re saving something going to landfill which is a big deal.
We’ve written a previous post about recycling your bicycle
, any other household items like sofas and furniture can be reupholstered, given a lick of paint and given a new home.
There you have it, tips for reducing your rubbish - recycle, reduce, reuse
. If of course you’ve done what you can and after a big home or office clear out you need your rubbish removing, please don’t hesitate to contact us
for a safe, reliable and ethical way to dispose of your waste.
PS. Did you know that the recycling symbol is a universal and it was designed by Gary Anderson. A student studying at the University of California and in 1971 he responded to a logo competition from the Container Corporation of America! He was paid $2,000 for winning the contest.