Reducing my waste January 03 2015, 0 Comments

Seeing rubbish bins bursting at the lids after the Christmas and New Year break always gets me thinking about how I can reduce landfill waste in the year ahead....I look at how we as a family have implemented the 3 R's over the last year and start thinking about what else I can do.

REUSE

Obviously I re-use my Nom Nom Kids pouches on a daily basis. Over the last year I have had to retire some pouches as they have been used to the point of breaking.  The zip lock tape is always the weakest point but I am averaging around 40 uses per pouch before they break.  I am really proud of that as they do get put through there paces with 2 toddlers around.

We re-use cotton bags or heavy duty reusable shoppers when shopping and even re-use egg boxes as we buy our eggs at the local butcher. I've been using the same 2 boxes for months now but they are just about to give in!

We use reusable containers or wrappers for food as much as we possibly can rather than using cling film, foil or disposable bags. There are some fantastic divided lunch boxes around that have an air tight seal so you no longer need to wrap everything individually for lunch.  Check out Yumbox UK who are taking the lunchbox market by storm.

I have just started to freeze all of my leftovers or meals in resuable bags such as these Lakeland reusable freezer bags. They are so convenient! I am looking at making my own version of bags like this for older babies and toddler meals or even for keeping sandwiches and snacks in but still very much in the early planning stages....more to follow on this another time!

I'd love to say that we use reusable nappies, we did for a while but stopped after a very bad stomach bug. Let's not get into details! I do wish that I had persevered though especially as there are now brilliant options such as GNappies. These consist of a fabric reusable outer nappy and environmentally friendly, biod degradable inserts.  We are just coming to the end of our nappy journey but I wish I had used these from the start. At least we will be eliminating nappies from our waste this year!

REDUCE

I feel really good that we haven't bought a pre-filled food pouch for well over a year.  In a year I would have thrown away around 700 empty pouch packets! That's based on having 2 toddlers and each one having 1 pouch a day which is to be honest quite a conservative estimate. It doesn't bear thinking about how many get thrown away across the world! I love the fact that I have eliminated that waste from our life.....I need to encourage more people to do the same though.

We have also managed to reduce the amount of wasted fruit and vegetables we have each week. Any brown bananas get skinned and put in the freezer or blended before they have chance to go completely off. The little leftover bits of banana that my children reject after they have eaten enough now get frozen or blended immediately. I now buy more fruit than ever before but all of it gets used up or stored for future use. It feels great not throwing away food each week.

To further aoid waste I am going to stick to a weekly meal plan and shop wisely for these meals so I can elimate more waste from my fridge! This will also stop me from impulse buying random ingredients that sit in the cupboard for months.

RECYCLE

We are recycling more than ever now. Everything that can get recycled does get recycled in our house now from paper, plastics, and tetra packs to clothing. It's a shame that our local authority don't do kerbside collections for all items but we make the effort to take everything else to the local recycling center.

I have been helping to collect empty baby food pouches and wipe wrappers this year to get sent off to Terracycle for upcycling. My local Tatty Bumpkin yoga class coordinates this in Cheltenham and she has collected an astonishing amount this year which is fantastic but still so many of the pre-filled pouches go to landfill.

Do you go even further than this? what else have you reduced, reused and recycled? Do you have some good tips for others? There's so much that we can do to minimise the impact of waste on our planet and small savings made by the masses can make an amazing difference.

Make it your new years resolution to reduce your waste this year....if you have friends that use the pre-filled food pouches, please do let them know about the reusable options on the market whether it's ours or another brand out there.

Thank you & Happy New Year!

Suzanne x

PS. A great resource for reducing your waste is www.therubbishdiet.org.uk Pop over and take a look at some of their ideas.