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Over a tonne of waste. That’s how much the average UK household generates every year. To put this into perspective, that’s a total of 31 million tonnes per year in total, equivalent to the weight of three and a half million double decker buses. If you are knocked sideways by statistics like these, you may be wondering how you could possibly make a difference on a personal level. But if everyone does something, then change will start to happen on a grander scale, and we can, together, start the process of healing our planet. With this in mind, please join us as we share with you our 15 top ways to become a zero waste household.
What exactly is a zero waste household?
When you think about how to have a zero waste home, it can appear daunting at first. But the fact is that waste-free living is achievable, and it can actually be quite simple. And not only does it reward the environment, it can also improve health, and reduce household expenditure too.
Following a zero waste lifestyle just takes a change of thinking. By shifting your focus onto keeping things out of landfill, instead finding ways to refuse, reduce, re-use and recycle, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a zero waste household. Because that is precisely what zero waste means: re-routing the journey of an item so that its destination is some place other than landfill, or the ocean.
How to become a zero waste household?
Here are our top 15 tips to help bring you closer to a zero waste household:
- Whenever you buy something online or by mail order, be sure to opt out of any postal marketing. If you want the retailer to keep in touch with offers, etc., stick to email.
- Sign up with the Mailing Preference Service to stop unsolicited mail.
- Go paperless with your utility providers and financial institutions.
- Refuse free gifts from conferences and parties. There are only so many pens one person needs after all.
- When you shop, stick to a list rather than make it a ‘browse and buy what you fancy’ session. The fewer items you bring home with you, the less waste you’ll have to deal with, and the closer you will be to achieving a zero waste home.
- Be wise with multi-buy offers. Do you really need three jars of bolognaise sauce this week? Is the offer really as good as it sounds? If it is, perhaps you could donate the ‘free’ items to the local food bank, rather than take them home to clutter your larder and create more waste?
- Declutter your home and donate anything you don’t need to your local charity shop.
- Be sure to re-use carrier bags, or only buy the reusable type. Keep a stash in the car, or a compact, fold-up version in your handbag so that you don’t have to keep buying more.
- Take your own tubs and jars along to the supermarket to fill with pasta and cereals.
- Look at what’s available in terms of reusable household products and make the switch to help achieve your zero waste household. Some manufacturers are now offering refills for liquid soap and spray detergents for example, so instead of buying the full bottle and pump dispenser, you buy only the liquid, supplied in eco-friendly packaging.
- Take a look at how many disposable household items or consumables you use on a regular basis, and take steps to swap them with reusable alternatives. Examples would be the likes of napkins, paper towels and water bottles.
- Familiarise yourself with your local council’s recycling guidelines. Aside from kerbside collections, there will also be recycling centres for the likes of furniture, electrical items and garden waste.
- Think before you buy. If you really need to buy new, choose products that can be recycled, such as glass or cardboard. Try as best you can to avoid plastic as, even though you probably feel you are doing well by placing it in your recycling collection, in actual fact much of it gets exported and ends up in landfill, or worse still, the ocean.
- Look at adopting a circular shopping approach. This is where what you buy is designed and manufactured with waste reduction in mind, making it easy for you to repurpose, recycle or put the item back into the retail system in some other way once you’re done with it, rather than dispose of it.
- Food waste, as well as other natural waste such as hair and nails, is compostable. Find a system that works for your household, and you’ll be able to better stick to it.
How to have a zero waste home, with help from Kola Project
Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste crisis. It is the world’s first fully circular shopping experience, based on a return and reuse program. When you buy from Kola Project’s range of high quality, sustainable household products, you can rest assured that what you’re buying has a future once you’re finished with it. Because as part of the program, whatever you buy can be returned for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, regardless of how long you’ve had it.
Why not start your circular shopping experience today, and make that first move towards becoming a zero waste household?