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Snow is falling…

I think the weather is trying to tell me something. Last time I went out to put something in my bin, the lid had frozen shut! This got me thinking – if I couldn’t use my bin, how could I find ways to reduce the amount of waste I create in the first place?

Zero Waste Scotland | 22 Dec 10

There are many good reasons why we should try and reduce the amount of waste we produce. In most local authorities, any waste that is not recycled gets sent to landfill. Here, waste decomposes anaerobically and gives off methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This contributes to global warming and the negative effects of climate change that we hear so much about in the news every day.

Another good reason to reduce the amount of waste we produce boils down to the fact that it takes a lot of energy and materials to produce these products, whether it is the paper used to print unwanted mail, or the food that has gone off and had to be thrown out. All the energy and materials that it took to make these items are wasted if the final product is just thrown away. Of course, it is possible to recycle the unwanted mail and home compost the rotten tomato, but it makes much more sense – both environmentally and financially – not to create the waste in the first place.

With snow falling and trapping many people at home, now is the perfect time to prepare your home for a waste-free Christmas. There are lots of easy ways you can help to prevent waste from the comfort of your own home. For example, you can sign up online to the Mailing Preference Service to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. This easy step can help reduce the amount of personally addressed direct mailings by up to 95%! To sign up, and for more tips on how to reduce the amount of unwanted mail coming through your letterbox visit http://www.stop-the-drop.org.uk. That’s more space in your recycling bin and less trips outside in the snow to empty it!

Why not use this opportunity to do a quick stock check of your fridge and cupboards? If you (like me) are stranded at home and unable to get to the shops, those forgotten tins at the back of the cupboard suddenly look like gourmet ingredients. If you have an odd assortment of food left in your fridge to get you through the next few days, why not have a go at the Love Food Hate Waste Recipe Blender tool. This fantastic device allows you to select up to three ingredients and will suggest a recipe for you. Brilliant – not only will you not starve, but you can also get rid of those less favoured food stuffs that we all seem to collect at the back of our cupboards! For hints, tips and recipe ideas visit http://www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk.

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