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What is it with your partner’s obsession with opening a new tomato sauce at least five squeezes before the old bottle’s finished?! And no matter how often you remind them, they do it every time. But instead of tossing that tomatoey goodness in the bin, you know it’s down to you to finish it off before a quick rinse and thwack into the recycling bin. Because part of loving your partner means loving the planet they live on. Even if sometimes that planet feels like it’s actually Gloopiter, Splaturn, or even Pooto.
Reducing waste at home is a great – and easy – way to love the planet together. But we get it; it can be hard to know where to start, so here are some ways to start reducing waste at home:
How to reduce waste from everyday essentials
- Learn how to repair items rather than buying new ones. The zip failing on the jacket you love doesn’t mean game over. Have a search online to see if there’s anything you could fix before throwing it out.
- Be creative with used packaging and cardboard tubes. Whether it’s turning empty cardboard tubes into toy tidies for kids, or making handy toilet paper storage out of empty tissue boxes, there are plenty of options to try out on a rainy Sunday afternoon!
- Use kitchen paper. Use a strong and absorbent kitchen paper to remove dirt and grease instead of wasting plastic sponges; cover food before serving with kitchen paper instead of plastic wrapping. Adding a sheet to your fridge salad drawer can also help soak up excess moisture for keeping leaves crisp for longer. Mmm, crunchy.
- Finish beauty products and toiletries. Squeeze out every last drop before you open a new one. Squeeze until you think you’ve squeezed enough… then squeeze some more.
- Use canvas shopping bags. Environmentally friendly, stronger than plastic, and something else to complement your outfit. What’s not to love?
Plenty MAX The Extra Big One kitchen paper is super strong when wet, so you only need to use a small amount to get a big job done.
Ways to reduce wasted energy
OK so now you want to know how to reduce waste at home? Cutting down on the amount of water and electricity you use can make a huge difference. Here’s what you can do:
- Take showers rather than baths (practice your singing or your award acceptance speech).
- Only wash clothes in the machine when you have a full load and on a lower temperature setting. Unless they’re full of poo. That can’t go in the wash basket until next wash. That’s a special case.
- Use a water butt to collect rainwater for your garden.
- Turn off appliances when not in use, rather than leaving them on standby mode. No more rogue smoothie machines spewing out green juice before you’ve wrestled the lid on.
- Turn off lights when you’re not using them or turn them down low for some ambience.
- Look into investing in some energy-efficient appliances.
That’s how to reduce wasted energy, now onto how to reduce waste of food.
How to reduce waste of food
There are two kinds of food waste. One is the stuff that expires when you turn your back for a second. The other is when that chicken you’ve slow cooked slides off your counter and turns your kitchen floor into a greasy ice rink. These tips are for the first kind:
- Do a stock-check before shopping so you don’t buy items you already have. But maybe finish off that punnet of berries before it grows furry arms and legs?!
- Keep an eye on food expiry dates to save fridge space and to avoid spreading green cream cheese on your bagel.
- Make proper use of your freezer – foods that go out of date fairly quickly can last for much longer at sub-zero temperatures.
- Use fruit and veg that’s going out of date in smoothies and soups – easy to freeze.
- Double check your food labels in case you’ve accidentally been storing something for the fridge in the back of a cupboard.
- Use scraps and skins for compost.
Not only will these tips make a difference to the planet, but they’ll also show your household that you’re thinking about how to make their everyday lives better too. And if your partner forgets to empty the check if the fresh produce has gone off? Hold your breath – love is stronger than a fluffy sprouting veg drawer.