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8 clever ways to reduce waste in your home

Go green with these easy tips to reduce waste at home.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

sorting through the recycling

Key steps

  • Recycle everything you can from glass and paper to clothing.

  • Upcycle where you can instead of filling your bins.

  • Swap single-use products for reusables - think plastic containers, coffee cups, and even nappies!

  • Use a meal plan to help cut back on food waste.

  • Repair items instead of replacing them.

  • Grow your own food and throw the peelings in a compost bin to feed your plants.

Change starts from within — a mantra which also applies to reducing waste in the world. Looking inside your own home and realizing how many items could end up as waste can be a little overwhelming, but don't despair! The decision to become eco-friendlier at home is manageable with our guide showing 8 ways to reduce waste and start transitioning to a zero-waste home.

Recycling is important but replacing single-use items with reusable ones or upcycling old products can help reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place.

8 ways to reduce waste and change your lifestyle

With these 8 tips to reduce waste, you can learn how to start living greener at home bit by bit.

1. Get to grips with recycling

This is one of the easiest ways to reduce wast and includes everything that you pop into your recycling bin as well as items which you can take down to the local recycling center.

  • Make sure you wash out items before putting them into your recycling bin.

  • Check what can be collected with your bin collection as some products may not be widely recyclable. For example, some bottle lids cannot be recycled as easily as the rest of the bottle so you may need to separate these parts out in your recycling bin.

  • Don’t forget that the local recycling center may take on other items such as clothing and electronic equipment.

The Poll

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2. Consider upcycling instead of recycling

There are many items which you can turn into new items quite easily. Why not make a bird feeder from an old plastic bottle or turn your old butter container into a fun make-up brush holder?

3. Make a weekly meal plan before your weekly shop.

If you want to work on ways of reducing the production of waste at home, food waste is a great place to start. This is one of the biggest ways that all of us produce waste at home but by making a meal plan and using it to create a shopping list, you'll buy only what you need - saving money too! 

4. Make yourself things to take out with you

Whether this is swapping your morning trip to the local coffee shop for a reusable mug filled at home or packing your lunch for work, you will not only save money but reduce the waste you produce while out and about.

5. Increase your skills in DIY to repair things instead of replacing<

From learning how to sew up holes in socks to a bit of DIY carpentry to fix broken furniture, there are so many ways you can reduce the waste you create by fixing things instead of replacing them. It’s bound to help your wallet too.

6. Reduce waste by making the most of your garden

Why not consider making your own DIY compost? You can then use your nice, homemade compost to feed your garden and grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to save you money on your shopping and reduce organic waste in your home. You may be surprised at just what waste materials are biodegradable. 

7. Make your own DIY cleaning solutions or choose a concentrated option

How much plastic waste do you create by purchasing spray bottles of kitchen cleaner, laundry detergent and more? Try making your own cleaners or opt for concentrated, refillable solutions where you need something stronger. You can make gentle dishwashing tablets with lemon juice, castile soap, and water or a simple oven cleaner from baking soda and white vinegar. 

8. Swap out your single-use plastics for reusable alternatives

There are several areas around your home that you can make this change. A few examples of simple ways to reduce plastic waste include:

  • Cloth or canvas bags for your food shopping.

  • Reusable silicone lids or beeswax wraps to cover your leftovers instead of clingfilm.

  • Cloth nappies that can be washed and reused.

  • Sanitary products such as cloth sanitary pads or silicone menstrual cups as an alternative to tampons.

With the above ways to reduce plastic use and general waste around your home, you can now start making the transition to having an eco-friendlier household.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published