10 WAYS TO CUT DOWN WASTE

26 Oct 2018

If you haven't read on the news you may have missed the reported 'climate catastrophe' that is going on (if you want to read more about this the full article is here). It has basically been found that climate change is happening at a much faster rate than anyone imagined and it's not good. While a lot of the action needed to be taken relies on the government funding and supporting alternative methods for energy, a lot of it also relies on ourselves. As a university student there are little changes that I've tried to make in order to be a little more eco-friendly. Today, i thought I would share these with you for if you are a uni student or if you're looking for some little ways to contribute to the reduction of global warming. 

1. Reusable Cups and Tupperware. 
I have made myself a promise that, instead of wasting money one one-use coffee cups, I'm only allowed to treat myself to a coffee or hot chocolate on campus if I remember my reusable mug. I got mine from Amazon (similar here) and it's a great size. A little bonus for bringing your own mug is that many places offer you a discounted drink if you use this.
I've also decided to ditch the one use plastic bags to freeze leftovers and to now on just use Tupperware. This also includes for lunches; investing in a small lunch box, in the long run, is so much cheaper than continually buying little sandwich bags. 

2. Always have a bag handy
You never know when you're going to nip to the shop and end up picking up more than you can carry. Keep a small tote bag inside your bigger bag or one of the nifty fold-up ones means that you're not having to buy a plastic bag that you're probably going to use a few times but it's going to end up breaking anyway. Having a little reusable bag for life is another small investment that you will thank yourself for having in the long run.

3. Meal Plan + Prep
We're all human and so buying too much food or having leftovers that will just go to waste can be a regular occurrence. To try and cut this down, I've made more of a conscious effort to plan my meals ahead of time and, if anything needs to be frozen before it goes out of date, to make sure it's done. Not only does this save money but it means there's less waste at the end of the week from food you've not had time to use or you bought too much of.

4. Cut down meat and dairy consumption.
While I would love to be able to commit to vegetarianism in the future, right now I'm trying my best by only eating meat once or twice a week with the rest of the time opting for vegi alternatives. Not only is this cheaper but I also feel a lot healthier by doing this. If you're starting out and want to make an effort ever little helps; whether it's just one day a week you don't eat meat or you decide to swap cow's milk for almond, it's still a great step that you'll thank yourself for later.

5. Ditch the plastic- buy loose veg. 
This is something I love to do. Being able to pick up your own vegetables and weigh them yourself takes me back to primary school and playing shops in reception. Except, now it's with real veg rather than plastic carrots. This one thing I've really focussed on recently and that's either taking my own reusable bags to buy my loose veg or just having loose as there's no harm in that either. I will also pick the loose veg over the packets where the option is available which helps stop me over buying as well as actually making my weekly shop cheaper.

6. Buy more locally sourced fruit and veg. 
Morrisons is my local supermarket at the moment and one thing I appreciate is their stand where you can pick up 6 eggs for £1 that are locally sourced. While I try and cut down the amount of eggs and dairy I'm having, I feel this is a better contribution than to buying supermarket's own eggs.
Most towns also have a great market and that's true of York. We have a great market with some really good fruit and veg stalls. This is something I'm trying to encourage myself to do more over the next few months to help support local business and pick this over more mass produced veg. 

7. Forget the tumble dryer and air dry clothes. 
While it's tempting to just shove your clothes in the tumble dryer, half the time it's not even dry after the time it's had so, instead, why not just air dry it. Yes, it takes longer but it's saving so much energy that could be used for things that need it more in the house. 

8. If you can, walk. If you can't, get the bus. 
This year I've realised how close my house is to the city centre and so instead of catching the bus for 5 minutes, I've been walking for 15 minutes which helps me get some fresh air and saves me money on a bus trip. When I'm going further a field I will get the bus but that's still better than driving. If you have a bike, why not cycle instead of driving. It's all good exercise and it's really helping in the effort to cut down energy. 

9. Save energy to save on your bills. 
It's something we get taught when we're really young but I'll be the first to admit it, it's something we all forget. The simple act of not leaving appliances on standby, turning off lights when you leave a room. It's little things that might slip your mind but making the conscious effort to do helps that little more. 

10. There's nothing wrong with second hand. 
Conscious shopping is something I'm interested in covering more on my blog in the future (if this is something you fancy a few posts on let me know!). I'm becoming more and more aware of how wasteful having so many clothes are and how un-environmentally friendly buying mass produced and fast fashion is. By buying from charity shops and second hand stores, you're not only may be giving a little to charity hile getting some bargains, but it's also helping cut down the waste as many items of clothing that may have only been worn once are constantly going to waste. 

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