Did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t live to see the light of the second week of February? However, saving the planet is one resolution we can’t ignore and by making some simple changes, you can make a big difference.
Whether you live in a mansion, terrace or apartment in the city or suburbs, these simple actions are easy to incorporate into your day to day life.
First, it’s important to understand the scale of the issue. On average, a UK household produces more than 1 tonne of waste every year. Although that may not seem very much, this totals around 31 million tonnes of waste produced by the UK per year. To put this into perspective, that’s the equivalent weight of 3.5 million double-decker buses. All this waste has to go somewhere, with much of it ending up in landfill sites throughout the UK, which are becoming increasingly full.
So…here’s a few pointers to help you reduce the amount of household waste you produce:
Stop buying 5p plastic bags
It’s a Monday night, you’re on your way home from work and after buying a few ingredients for tonight’s meal you realise you’re bag-less. It happens to us all, but it’s important that we at least try to remember to put a plastic bag in the car, in your handbag or just in your back pocket. This way, you benefit through reducing the ever-increasing pile of bags stuck in that kitchen cupboard and the planet benefits, as each of those plastic bags which end up in landfill, or worse in nature, takes up to 1000 years to decompose, and, even then, the remaining micro plastics still make their way around our planet.
Re-use, it’s more beneficial than you think! You’ve probably heard of the saying ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, right? However, did you know that by following this simply mantra you could make money?
According to the waste charity, Wrap, the UK sends over 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill every year. But why commit those clothes to the bin? They do say that ‘one person’s rubbish is another person’s gold!’
So when you fall out of love with those leather trousers get them on Ebay, DEPOP or Shpock and reap the rewards. We’re becoming a disposable nation but by looking after the clothes you wear, and selling them on after you’ve decided you don’t wear them anymore, you can reduce the number of brand new clothes bought each year and also earn money. Two birds with one stone, hey?
Steer away from food wrapped in plastic
Sadly the majority of food we buy is wrapped in plastic, whether it’s biscuits, fruit or pasta. However, it is possible to avoid buying these foods. Recently there has been an increasing number of ‘zero waste’ shops popping up, especially in major cities like Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. Or if times of the essence why not take your own containers to the supermarket? Swap cling film for sustainable and reusable bee’s wax wraps for storing food in the fridge and get your plastic waste closer to target zero.
So there you go, three very simple ways you can help to save the earth, and give yourself a pat on the back for keeping a New Year’s resolution.