9 zero effort life hacks for creating less waste

We spoke to Recycle For London about easy switches Londoners can make...
9 zero effort life hacks for creating less waste
October 18, 2017   |    Ali Moore, campaign manager at Recycle For London

Unless you’re a fully-fledged eco warrior who can fit your annual rubbish in a jam jar and uses pig hair toothbrushes to eradicate any need for plastic, there are probably things all of us can do to create less of an environmentally-damaging foot print as we go about our day to day.

Here are the simple eco switches you can make will make a big difference for almost zero effort…

1.       Make recycling part of your routine — though we like to deny it, inconvenience puts the breaks on most of our best intentions. So, when it comes to recycling, the secret is to make it easy. Switch your bins so the biggest in the kitchen is for recycling and then add them to your bathroom and bedroom. 

2.       Send old clothes to your local charity shop rather than putting them in the bin — if you don’t have one nearby or don’t fancy slogging with loads of bin bags, arrange a collection — through Traid, for example — which will pick them up and take them away for minimal hassle.

3.       Take faulty electrical items to your local hardware store or Restart Party and see how easy it is to give them a new lease of life — not only saving the environment but your hard-earned cash, as well.

4.       Don’t chuck out your clothes at the first sign of a hole. There are loads of free or low-cost sewing workshops going on across London, like Love Your Clothes. Sign up for one and learn how to mend your clothes rather than replacing.

5.       Ditch one-use plastic, like coffee cups and straws — by using a reusable coffee cup, like a KeepCup, and glass or bamboo straws, to prevent all that non-recyclable plastic heading to the rubbish tip after just one use.

6.       Alternatively, reuse plastic pots for storage or as a plant pot. (Be inspired by Bol’s upcycling #DontWasteCreate ideas).

7.       Keep a caddy for food waste on your kitchen worktop and then empty it into your local food recycling bin — food doesn’t just rot down harmlessly, it creates climate change gases, but recycled food can be converted into electricity or compost for farmers.

8.       Keep a re-usable shopping bag in your coat pocket — and they don’t have to be goofy. Try Reisenthel for minimal, foldaway styles, 

9.       Start sharing — if you need to put up some shelves it might be worth asking around to see who’s got some spare kit rather than buying some yourself. Alternatively, take a peek in the Library of Things.

Check out this series of videos from Recycle for London about what happens to your recycled items and what products they could become…

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