The past year has been one of learning, challenges and reflection. The impact that climate change is having on our planet has become more and more apparent. Sustainability has become a focus for many of us moving forward. As it is the start of the year, we thought we would share some of our tips for reducing your waste this January. Reducing waste can be an amazing way to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Waste is not the only issue
Before we start, we know that sustainability and climate change are complex. Within these movements there are inequalities accessibility issues which have to be addressed. The tips we share are some ideas at an individual level to help reduce waste. We hope they can help those who are able to make these changes and we hope that in the future more and more of us are able to make them.
So let’s dive into some of our personal favourite tips for reducing waste
Ask yourself some questions…
A really easy and free way to stop waste is not purchasing in the first place. Simply saying no creating a carbon footprint of an item can have a massive impact on reducing your waste. Not only do you avoid contributing to the demand for goods but you are cutting out the risk of you wasting it. Where you purchase something from can also have a massive environmental impact. Are your products being flown in? Does the company make an effort to reduce their environmental impact? Can your item be reused or recycled? Before you make a purchase make sure to ask yourself some key questions, where is this item coming from? Do I trust the brand? Do I really need this? Will this item make a positive or negative environmental impact on my life?
Reusable cup or bottle
A simple purchase but a really useful one. By refilling a water bottle instead of buying disposable plastic bottles can really reduce your daily waste. Plastic bottles take up to 450 years to break down. A reusable bottle can cut down the amount of this waste drastically. If you do buy a plastic bottle try and reuse and refill it instead of just throwing it away.
Food waste is most likely the largest part of your personal waste. Composting can be an amazing way to avoid this waste as food cannot degrade properly in landfill. By composting you will prevent the greenhouse gases released from food waste. Of course not everyone may have access to a garden. Contact your local council and share your desire to compost food- they can put you in touch with food recycling or local composting initiatives.
Do not forget water waste
Sometimes it is easy to forget that water for many is not as easy as just turning on a tap. As humans, we should be more aware that water is not as ‘freely available’ as we might think. Water shortages are real issues which not only effect countries around the world but can affect the UK. We should be more considerate and aware of this moving forward. Wasting water also has a negative impact on the environment. Our demand for water is higher than it has ever been. To meet this demand we are forced to pull fresh water from other natural means. The regeneration of this water is much slower than extracting it. Extracting more water, as you may have guessed, is unsustainable as it involved multiple steps which many will rely on fossil fuel energy.
The average UK person uses 142 litres of water every day. 68% of this comes from the bathroom. A dual flush toilet can help save 7000 litres of water per person per year. However, for toilets without this a water displacement device can be placed in the cistern to save on water. Finally, reducing your shower length by as little as a minute can save more than 5 gallons of water. Find out more.
Lilypads favourite tips for saving waste is cutting down menstrual waste. People with periods will use over 11000 period products in their lifetime. Each year Scotland sends 1.6 billion disposable period pads to landfill. These can be made of up to 90% plastic and therefore take years to degrade. By swapping out disposable period products either entirely or partly with a reusable option, you can drastically cut this waste. Try our reusable pads today.
We hope these tips can help you make small changes to your lifestyle which can have a massive impact on reducing your waste.