In 5 Fridays

5 Ways to Reduce Waste

Whilst we as individuals are not necessarily the main causes of climate changes (I’m looking at all you massive corporations over there in the back, not even reading this post), but we can individually do our bit to help the environment just a little. One of these ways is to produce less waste, which means less going to the landfill site and less being thrown in the oceans or blown out into the world in the wind!

1. Stop buying plastic water bottles


I will freely admit that I’m not great at this one. I have used reusable water bottles most of my life, but since my last once wore out over a year ago (it was metal and very dented) I haven’t purchased a new one. Since then, I’ve been using plastic water bottles in rotation – getting a new one each time I forget to pack the one I’m currently using. This saves some waste and money, but I do need to get around to buying a new sturdier one.

Reusing water bottles saves so much plastic. Single-use bottles just become silly and unnecessary. Reuse your water bottles people!

2. Always carry a tote/reusable carrier bag


I always do my best at bringing a tote bag with me when going shopping – it’s been part of my routine for a long time, seeing as the Welsh Government put the 5p charge on plastic bags in 2011 and the rest of the UK following suit not too long after. But there are times that I forget to bring a bag, so recently I’ve been keeping a tote bag folded up at the bottom of my rucksack/handbag so that I am never stuck.

PSA for students: you can pick up free tote bags at any uni open day. They will have the name of the uni on it but honestly I don’t see that as a problem, it’s just the same as a brand having their name on a plastic bag.

3. Make packed lunches


Most of the lunches I bring into college are leftovers from meals I’ve had either the night before or frozen. My family have a few sturdy lunchboxes which we share and are a great size. One timesaver is to make extra food in the evening and pre-package the night before. For example, I once made a curry last a week and it’s pretty easy to cook an extra 100g of pasta and a few spoons more sauce and let it cool.

If you do have to buy lunch (due to lack of time, etc.) then try to go somewhere that has largely recyclable packaging or maybe eat in with plate. Similarly, try to avoid using plastic cutlery and carry around a spoon or fork in with you from home. Just remember to take them out of your bag so they don’t accumulate in a pocket! (Not that I’ve done that before…)

4. Donate, don’t throw away


Minimalism is a growing trend, and it’s a lifestyle I would love to lead but know I would never be capable of. I think I’m just too much of a messy person and I get way too sentimental about things.

Despite this, I have been trying to clear out some of my stuff and get rid of things that are just lying about unused – we all need to have a clear out at some point any way. What I suggest doing, instead of throwing anything out straight away is to check the condition and the type of object and then donate it to a charity shop or homeless shelter if the items are suitable. This way you can make some space whilst helping others and ensuring that items reach their full potential.

5. Wear a menstrual cup!


It’s no secret how much I love my menstrual cup – I will talk about it to friends and strangers alike (hence my blog series, #ACupaDay) – but there is a reason for my enthusiasm. For people who menstruate, disposable products such as tampons and pads are the initial go-to that we’re taught from the get-go are the only things to use during your period. Think about it: you’ve got the products themselves, the packaging/wrapping and then the applicators (if they’re there). That’s ridiculous amounts to be throwing away.  However, in the past few years I have become much more aware about the array of products that we have available to us. My menstrual cup has changed my life (not even exaggerating) but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit you. If you don’t like the idea of a menstrual cup, you could always use period underwear or reusable pads (just make sure you wash them regularly!).


What do you do to reduce waste?


If you liked this post you might like: My First Thoughts on the Menstrual Cup

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