Easy zero waste hacks
We’re celebrating Zero Waste Week by shouting about how you can reduce waste and get crafty with leftover single-use plastic!
Why is Zero Waste Week so important? The UN recently announced code red for humanity – this is scary (!) and puts in perspective just how much we need to work together to make a difference.
We get it, making a positive change to the planet can sometimes feel like an impossible task! But we all have a huge part to play. Even the smallest of eco-swaps and changes to our everyday routine can improve our carbon footprint and make a real impact.
To help motivate and show you just how easy it can be to start your journey to zero waste, we are putting a spotlight on some of the Bloom & Nora team’s top ways to reduce and reuse.
5 Ways to reduce waste
Hello preloved steals
Who’s guilty of owning an outfit that they swore they’d wear, but it never made it out of the wardrobe (and possibly still has the tags on)? We can all be guilty of this, especially when life gets busy. But shockingly, 10,000 items of clothing are sent to landfill every five minutes, equivalent to £140 million in value every year!
So, what can you do to help?
- Charity shops and second-hand clothing apps are a great way to buy, donate and sometimes make money back on your clothes!
- Handy with a needle and thread? Why not restyle or make some repairs to give your clothes a new lease of life!
- If your clothes are beyond donating or repair, use them as cleaning rags, clothes for painting or decorating, patch work, or you could even make your clothes into tote bags!
Mix-up your beauty and care routine
Sticking with your favourite brands and products, instead of looking for reusable alternatives, can be an easy mistake to make and change.
One of the most common beauty essentials found in bathroom bags is wet wipes. Unfortunately, wet wipes contain polypropylene, a plastic that won’t decompose, and with people flushing wet wipes down the loo, they make up more than 90% of the material causing sewer blockages in the UK!
There are so many eco-friendly alternatives to single-use beauty products that make such simple swaps for your everyday! For easy zero-waste wins, add these fab reusables to your basket: reusable make-up wipes, reusable cotton buds, reusable period pads, and bamboo make-up applicators.
Already have a bundle of reusables? Take the next step and visit your local refill store and top-up on your beauty and hair essentials.
Getting clever with leftovers
Did you know the UK produces more than five million metric tonnes of household food waste every year? This equates to more than 70 kilograms of food waste per person! But minimising your food waste is easy and can save you a money too. Win-win!
Check out some ways that you can help minimise food waste:
- Freeze foods or leftovers that can be frozen, defrosted, and reheated instead of throwing away.
- Create a meal plan, check your fridge freezer, and only buy what you need from the shop.
- Declutter your food cupboards and donate what you’re unlikely to use to your local food banks or your neighbours by joining an app like Olio.
- Use up fruit or veg instead of throwing them away and make some delicious smoothies or healthy snacks.
- Compost! Instead of throwing unwanted food straight in the bin, save what you can by composting. There are so many compost bins of all sizes to suit you and your home.
Knowledge is power!
There are some amazing social and volunteer groups that can provide handy resources and organise planet-friendly volunteer events such as clean ups, tree planting and animal conservation, to help keep our planet healthy. Seek them out and help share the knowledge too.
Want to find out your carbon footprint and see how you can improve? Check out the WWF carbon footprint calculator here!
Time to crafty with single-use plastic
Single-use plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose, so instead of throwing the plastic away, try getting creative and repurposing it into something useful or decorative! We’ve picked out our top 5 DIY projects to add a little eco-savviness to your home:
- Wash out your empty shampoo or body lotion bottles to make a handy charging dock for your phone.
- Weave left-over plastic straws into a quirky coaster for your coffee table.
- Create cute planters for your succulents by decorating old plastic bottles and cutting to size.
- If you love greenery but don’t have a huge garden, use plastic bottles to brighten up dull walls and create a vertical garden!
- Turn unwanted plastic bags into outdoor pompom light decorations or downsize the pompom to a gift bow!
We’d love to hear your Zero Waste tips too! Comment on our Zero Waste Week social post to share your tips.