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The best ways to reduce household waste


Waste comes in many forms, from degradable, green waste in the garden to garage waste and general household waste, all of which can mount up. Different types of waste carry different challenges when it comes to disposing of it responsibly, but there are countless options available with waste clearance East Lothian.


No matter how hard you try to live a zero-waste lifestyle, there is always room for improvement, and one great place to start is within the comfort of your own home.

Removing household waste can be a big task and finding responsible ways to get rid of the waste can be the hardest task of all. But it’s not impossible! Little changes, like making a concerted effort to recycle bottles and cans, or switching to cloth or jute bags instead of plastic ones, can make a big difference to your household waste output.

The following are the best ways you can follow to reduce waste in your home.

1. Understand the rules of recycling

Recycling is not rocket science, so don’t get intimidated by it. Get to know about the recycling standards in your area as it varies from place to place. You need to determine everything that you can recycle (paper, plastic, rubber, etc.), to where you leave your recycling bins (drop-off centres, curbside, etc.), to how to separate various materials (glass vs plastic). Next, you need to pay attention to all of the complicated symbols printed on the back of the packaging materials and containers you use. Not many people understand these symbols but once you know the code, it’s easy to work out which bin each item should be going in.

While it is better to only bring eco-friendly packaging into your household, recycling is the next best option to prevent excess waste that will eventually head for the landfill.

2. Say NO to plastic bags

One of the best ways to reduce the amount of waste in your home is to use reusable bags while shopping. Whenever leaving home for groceries, bring your own cloth or jute bag to pack up your items and tote them back. Most supermarkets and grocery stores provide plastic bags to pack the items you buy, but aside from the cost that these now add to your shopping bill due to the ‘plastic bag tax’, they put enormous strain on the environment to produce and dispose of. You can always keep an extra set of bags in the boot of your car to ensure that you don’t leave them at home. You can make bags out of your old clothes, or you can simply buy a bunch that you can reuse over the long term. This will reduce the plastic waste traffic in your home.

3. Make a meal plan

Just like material waste, food waste is a common and growing problem in most households. However, food wastage is preventable if you follow one simple rule – only shop for those food items that you know will be consumed. And never buy products in bulk unless they have an extended expiry date. Food items like grains, flour, pickles, etc. can be stored in airtight containers for long durations, but food items like vegetables, fruit, and meat, amongst others, need to be consumed within 4-5 days, or they will rot, and you will be left with no choice but to throw them away.

4. Reusable containers are your best friends

Take your kitchen waste removal campaign to the next level by storing food properly so that you will not only extend the food’s life overall but will also keep things at their absolute freshest for as long as possible. For this, you need to invest in high-quality airtight jars and containers that can be used for a prolonged period. We recommend you go for glass jars and containers as they are easy to clean and maintain and will keep the food items properly stored. Plastic containers are not suitable because they tend to degrade in quality over the years and also lose their aesthetic appeal. Glass containers, on the other and, will remain neat and clean, preserving your food correctly.  

5. Start composting

If you have a garden in your home or even a little place where you can set up a kitchen gardening, composting can not only help you get rid of kitchen waste but also provide nutrients to your plants and herbs. Instead of throwing away kitchen and biodegradable waste, you can simply dig them into where your plants are growing. This way, the waste can be composted and returned to the earth. Or if you have a larger space in your backyard, you can start a compost by buying a compost bin or putting biodegradable waste into the soil, damping it with some water, and leaving it for a couple of months. You can also put some earthworms in the mix to make the process faster. This way, you don’t have to buy compost and fertiliser from the market, you have your own. 

6. Don’t discard, instead, repair and reuse

First of all, always invest in high-quality household products. Products that are of high-quality don’t tend damage easily and last longer. Even if they are damaged, find a way to repair them instead of throwing them away unless the product is genuinely in such a condition that it can’t be repaired. Learn to sew, treat repairs and DIY as an opportunity to upskill, and teach your children how to take care of the household items properly. This will not only save you money but will also reduce waste generation in your home.

7. Avoid the use of bottled drinks unless you have to

Bottled drinks are the primary source of waste in many households. If you have a pile of them in your home, instead of throwing them away, you can reuse them for storing something different. If you’re worried about the quality of your tap water then install a proper filtration or purification system in your home and take up drinking tap water again, free of concerns. Buy durable water bottles and thermos flasks for when you’re out at work, school, or travelling about. You can always refill the bottle whenever required.

Reducing waste is all about changing your habits and educating everyone in your family. Household waste management is simple if you know how to implement a few systems properly. And remember, it might be hard work at first, but it’s worth it. Lesser waste means cleaner homes and healthier surroundings.

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