The world is in dire straits right now.
No matter which way you look at it, our planet is struggling under the weight of humans: between single-use plastic waste, global warming, carbon emissions and over-population, there are serious changes that need to be made, and quick. It’s that serious that Elfie’s class at school has their own Eco representative (it is, of course, her).
There are a few changes that we’ve made at home which I help go some way towards ‘doing our bit’ for the environment. I mean, I shudder to think of the days when we actually didn’t recycle anything – when we didn’t have the facilities for it. I remember the beginnings of environmental awareness, the trips to the bottle and paper bank I used to take with my mum and dad, the boot jangling with wine empties. Thank goodness we’ve come far since then.
We employ a few techniques in our family that help with our recycling efforts: see if you can do these, too.
Set Yourself a Challenge
We’re lucky in that at our house we have weekly collections of both waste and recyclable materials. So, each week, whatever I do I make sure we only use ONE bin bag of waste. If we produce any more we’ve failed this week’s challenge!
It’s a great game to play with the kids and we all really get on board with our one-bag rule.
Collect Your Garden Waste
Now we have a lovely big garden, one of my favourite things to do is collect the waste from it and compost as much of it as possible. We use these fabulous heavy duty garden waste bags from Weirbags to get the job done!
Check Your Packaging
This has been a really easy one to get into – checking the packaging of each and every piece of food before purchasing it as well as before throwing the packaging away. Where possible, I only buy food with minimal or recyclable packaging: it’s an absolute travesty how much packaging supermarkets use – shopping local is best for this.
Research Packaging-Free Shops
It’s amazing how many shops are starting to board the packaging-free train. The Daily Bread in Northampton is a great store local to me that does refills, and I’d highly recommend them.
If you’re in London or beyond there’s a brilliant list of places you can shop with Zero Waste here. And, if you can’t get to one of these stores, make sure you’re shopping as local as possible and always with reuseable shopping bags! I keep mine in the boot of the car otherwise I forget them.
Join a Community
Zero Waste London is a Facebook community – actually ran by my cousin Alexander – that gives loads of great advice about the environment. We also have a Green Group at our local pub that meets once a week to trade tips and tricks (and a few drinks!) when it comes to going eco-friendly. If you don’t have one of these locally, why not start your own?