Everything you use takes energy to make or transport and may use irreplaceable raw materials dug from the ground. The products we now have may make life more comfortable but they have a price in CO2. You can save yourself money and reduce your impact on the planet by reducing what you waste or throw away.
Causes of food waste
Supermarkets are designed to lead you to buy more than you need. Some of it will go uneaten and be thrown away. Sometimes the excess bought is eaten and ends up in fat, limiting your life and adding to the CO2 costs of your own transport. Supermarkets themselves throw away vast quantities of food each week too. They reject what they regard as imperfect such as fruit and vegetables that don’t meet their size and shaped rules so farmers throw it out even before it reaches the shops.
Reducing food waste
- Growing food yourself makes you much less likely to waste it.
- Buying locally, in markets or small shops means you can buy only what you need.
- Shopping little and often, buying only for the next few meals reduces waste.
- Buying in bulk for basics such as dried fruit, nuts, flour and pasta can be more efficient provided you have space to store it and the right containers to keep it in good condition.
- If you can stay out of supermarkets you may help bring an end to the very wasteful way they operate.
Anything that you buy that needs to be transported will use packaging. All packaging uses energy in its production and uses energy in being transported. Some is not biodegradable or recyclable and persists in the environment.
Reducing packaging waste
- Buy fewer things then you create less need for packaging
- Shop in second hand shops that use recycled packaging
- Take your own previously used packaging with you.
- Refill your own containers shopping in markets and shops that sell in bulk.
- Save your packaging to repack anything you send.
- Give used bubble wrap and plastic bags to shops that will reuse it.
- Buy refill packs
- Buy in bulk and refill your smaller container many times
Our homes are full of things that we rarely use. Some of us hire extra storage space to store all out things. Serviceable items are discarded everyday and go to landfill. There is a whole industry devoted to generating a sense of shame if we do not own the latest car, clothes, phone, gadget and if our home does not match the latest style. That industry is creating waste on a industrial scale.
All that clutter needs storing, dusting or maintaining. Live a lighter life with less stuff.
- Stop watching adverts/buying magazines that make you want stuff
- Avoid shopping centres
- Stay away from shopping channels
- Buy secondhand
- Hire or borrow rather than buy
- Mend things when they break
- Give or sell things you are no using so others may benefit
- When giving gifts give money or experiences rather than things