The final part of this reducing waste series is here – General waste reducing tips. As with the other two posts, I’ve come up with some tips to reduce the amount of rubbish you’re throwing away. Although it seems daunting there are so many steps you can take to reduce your footprint. I have some other ways of reducing the amount of waste you’re sending to landfill. These 9 tips can really help:
1. Use Bottle Banks.
There are so many facilities out there provided to help you get rid of your waste properly. Use them!
The bin that says aluminum cans, I’d assumed was just for cans. Recently, I discovered it’s for all aluminum – deodorant bottles (with plastic lids removed), and food tins (pet food, tuna and other food tins). These sorts of items take up a lot of room in the recycling bin, so taking them to the local recycling facilities will help reduce the space taken up in your recycling bin by half!
Make sure you use your nearest bottle bank to get rid of your glass bottles. They weigh a lot and take up a lot of room in your bin. Keep a crate beside your bin and when you go to do your grocery shopping, empty your bottles on the way. Just give them a rinse first. Tip: If there’s no blue glass bin, blue glass bottles go in the green bottle bin. Woahh!
Any shop that sell batteries must take them back for recycling by law.
If you want to become more familiar in what can be recycled, head over to Repak.ie where you’ll find a load of information. If you enter your location into the Recycling facilities search, you can find a list of all the local amenities and what materials they accept. It’s a great tool.
2. Return your electricals when buying a new ones.
When you buy a new electrical appliance, the store actually has to take back your old one. If you’re buying a new hair dryer, or juicer, stores actually provide a free in-store take back. I have so many old hair straighteners and hair dryers around the place. Wish I’d known this long ago. Make sure you take advantage of this service. Currys/Pc World actually provide this service without you even buying anything!
3. Use recycling facilities provided for appliances.
Most electrical appliances can now be recycled. Either use the previous tip and return appliance back to the retailer when buying a new one, or bring it to your nearest recycling centre. Don’t know where that is? Google it!
Longford has 2 electrical waste sites Free of Charge. You can dispose of your fridges, freezers, TVs, washing machines and cookers here.
One is in Mulleadys, Drumlish. The other is at Westlink Business Park on the Athlone road. Not only does it enrage me when I see a fridge dumped on the side of the road (which is often) but it actually bewilders me. Don’t these people realise you can actually dispose of it for free, which is just as easy as throwing it out of your car on the side of the road? And with the added bonus of not polluting the air and water in the area?!
When it comes to furniture, the same applies. Old furniture can be left at Revamp, in the Mastertech Business Park, Athlone road.
Get onto google and see what furniture/appliance recycling facilities are available in your area.
4. Sell instead of throwing away.
If your things are still working and in good condition, why not sell them second hand? Use Done deal, adverts or Facebook to get rid of unwanted stuff while making a few euro in the process – Win win!
Same with clothes. You can use apps like Depop, or the other sites mentioned above.
If you’re just desperate to get rid of something, advertise it as “free to take away”. No easier way to get it off your hands.
5. Recycle unwanted clothes.
Bring unwanted clothes to a charity shop. Bring them to your nearest clothing bank. Give them to a younger cousin. Pass them on to someone who will use them. There are so many ways to get rid of the clothes you don’t wear, and throwing in the bin isn’t one of them!
In my last post on food waste, I touched on this. You can put ALL food waste in a compost bin. Not only food waste, but any organic material: Paper, cardboard, hair, fingernail clippings tea bags, egg cartons, wine corks, tissues, cotton balls and even tampons. Empty the contents of your hoover or dustpan in too, as well as the junk mail that fills the bottom of your post box. All this waste can be discarded in your garden!
You can have a compost heap or a proper bin. There are loads of tips for making the breakdown process in your compost bin faster, which can be easily googled. For one, shred paper waste for compost or even for your bin.
The best way to reduce your waste: Don’t have so much shit! I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism: A documentary about the importance of things”. Before I seen it, my perception of living a more minimalist lifestyle, was not having any stuff. This isn’t true. It’s actually ridding yourself of things that don’t have any value to you. Do you love shoes? Great, continue adding to your shoe collection but stop buying all those magazines you never read. It’s all about realising what adds value to your life, while also learning what doesn’t.
8. Shop Smarter.
I learned this from the movie the blind side, and it has changed how I shop: “If you don’t absolutely love it in the store you won’t wear it. The store’s where you like it the best”. Serious advice!!
Today, our lives are based on accumulating stuff. Retailers have collections coming out every week to make you feel like you’re behind the times and need to keep up with trends. Don’t fall for this. It results in soooo much waste. Not only in the form of clothes themselves, but the packaging they come in. Only buy things you absolutely love. Make the most of what you already have in your wardrobe.
Also, when buying food, always stick to a list!
9. Buy loose.
Buy loose fruit and veg to go without any waste. You know those stupid flimsy plastic bags in the fruit and veg section, don’t use them. Your apples aren’t going to roll out of the trolley and out the door like, I literally don’t know what the point of these bags are! As mentioned in my reducing plastic post, my local Dunnes has said if there are no loose options, any plastic packaging can be disposed of at the tills when paying. Check your super market to see if this is an option for you too.
I mentioned before, this series was inspired by a disgusting increase in illegal dumping in my area. Most of what is dumped is electrical appliances, furniture and plastic bottles. There is literally no excuse for it. There are resources around for all of these!
I’ve also done a post on reducing your plastic waste which I recommend you look at, as well as reducing food waste. Click below to read those:
I think it’s great that more and more people are starting to live more consciously when it comes to the environment and our impact on it. Fellow Irish blogger Edel, blogs about sustainable fashion and recently did a post on Trying to live a less wasteful life. Click through to read it and see the steps she’s taking.
Please take all these tips onboard, not only to help yourself, but the environment too. I hope you found something useful here. Feel free to share this post to pass the tips on to others!