Five ways to cut waste
At Eden we strive to be Waste Neutral; to ‘balance’ what we send for recycling and disposal with what we buy in as recycled products. You could do the same.
By making a few changes to your daily habits at home or work you can:
- save money
- cut the amount of resources sent needlessly to landfill
- prevent unnecessary manufacturing
Reducing waste at home
Recycling can help save materials and energy, but cutting down on what you use in the first place is even more important. For example, you could buy products in bulk, avoid excess packaging and unnecessary carrier bags, and buy products which you can use again instead of disposable items - such as water bottles.
- Re-use and repair
Even when you have finished with something, someone else will often be able to use it so why not sell it, give it to charity or pass it on via sharing schemes like Freecycle, Yoink, or Local Exchange Trading Systems?
Most councils now run doorstep collections for paper, glass and plastics, and other recyclable materials. Local civic amenity sites can also accept many other materials for recycling – everything from wood, shoes, textiles and TVs, to electrical equipment, light bulbs and fridges/freezers. Get information on recycling facilities in your area from Recycle Now.
Up to 40% of household waste is kitchen and garden waste which you can compost. Making your own compost can save you money on mulches, improves soil quality and helps keep it moist. Some councils collect green waste, which they use for their own parks and gardens. Find out more at Recycle Now.
- Buy recycled
Products made from recycled goods save raw materials and complete the circle by increasing demand for recycled materials. As well as paper products, you can buy recycled household and fashion items such as shoulder bags, plastic trays, pencil cases and aluminium foil. Check out our Eden shop for ideas.
Reducing waste at work
Carry out an audit to identify what, where and how you generate waste. This should give you an idea of the cost to the company or organisation – and highlight opportunities to cut down. Visit Waste Online for more help on this.
Could you change purchasing procedures to buy less? Can you talk to your suppliers about reducing packaging?
Look at your processes – is there anything that could be reused? If you can’t find another use for it, can you find someone else who can?
Set up recycling containers and procedures for the materials you use, and then find a recycling contractor who can offer you a suitable collection service. You may be able to save money on your general waste collection fees. Visit WRAP for more help on this.
Wherever possible, buy recycled goods, from office supplies to reclaimed building materials. This helps close the recycling loop, making sure there is a market for waste and office recycling schemes continue to flourish. We’ve tried to do this at Eden, for example buying insulation made of old newspapers and timber frames made of reconstituted wood waste. Learn more about sustainable construction at Eden.