Cut down on household waste with these 5 simple tips

Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Clothing, food, energy, broadband, and light bulbs are obviously household essentials; however, every year, we waste £46.3 billion on them, reports The Sun. That’s a massive amount and shows that there is much we can do to reduce the pressure on both our household budgets and the environment. Here are 5 simple things that you can do to help meet this end.

Carefully check your shelves before shopping

One common and wasteful blunder is weekly purchasing food that is already in enough supply on our shelves at home, as the Express site explains.

This mistake can too easily occur when we are busy and so don’t give ourselves time even to check those shelves ahead of a shopping trip. However, you could still notice that a certain item tends to get thrown out a lot more often than others – in which case, consider not buying it next time.

Use leftovers

Do you often cook a big meal only to realise that you – or whoever else the meal was intended for – don’t have the appetite for all of it, resulting in leftovers?

You probably habitually discard the leftovers when this situation arises; however, you don’t have to do this. Instead, you could include them in your next lunch or add some ingredients to make a new dish. Stews and curries, for example, can be effectively bulked up in this way.

Don’t confuse ‘best before’ with ‘use by’ 

A ‘use by’ date on a piece of food indicates the date by which it can be safely consumed. Dates of this kind commonly appear on fresh meat and fish – and eating the food after the attached ‘use by’ date has passed can be dangerous.

However, a ‘best before’ date differs in that it simply indicates when the product’s texture will change; so, it is not strictly necessary to throw away food that has an expired ‘best before’ date.

Avoid plastic packaging

While plastic packaging can be recycled, it would be better for you to avoid it as much as you can in the first place, as it can seriously hurt the environment.

Low-waste blogger Erin Rhoads insists, in words that the Daily Mail quotes: “Single-use throw away items like coffee cups, plastic water bottles, plastic shopping bags and takeaway containers are to me the most wasteful items that really are not necessary”.

Buy groceries in bulk

One good way of reducing your use of plastic packaging is bulk buying groceries – which, as a result, would come with less of that plastic. Better still, bulk purchase at local farmers’ markets. Of course, another advantage is that you can save money on your groceries.