Is zero-waste actually possible?

Today marks the beginning of another Waste Free February, a great campaign by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.  I first took part in 2019 – you can read my blog post about it here.

I find it very helpful to remember that zero-waste is a goal rather than a restrictive rule. The current food system makes it hard to achieve, and every tiny step that you take is better than doing nothing. Don’t get hung up on trying to fit a month’s worth of trash in a jam jar. Ask yourself if you really need that packaged snack. Carry fruit peels home to compost. Recycle what you can. Mend your broken stuff. All the small steps you take will soon add up. I’m going to share my five favourite tips to reduce your household waste without wasting any more time.

  1. Use reusables! But remember, you don’t necessarily need a fancy new ‘thing’ for each job. A ragged hoody or t-shirt is perfect to cut up for reusable wipes, replacement kitchen towel, facial cleansing pads and more.
  2. Shop packaging-free where possible. If you haven’t got a zero-waste shop nearby, Good Club are a great place for online zero-waste shopping. (If you spend over £20 with this link, you’ll get a free zero-waste starter kit worth £20, and I’ll get £10 off my shopping!)
  3. Get loose fruit and veg! Find and support your local veg grower, or use a delivery service such as Riverford or Abel & Cole.
  4. Know your recycling collections! If you aren’t doing it right, it may even be causing entire truck loads to be sent to landfill. Check out your local authority website and make a proper list of what they will accept, and maximise your additional recycling by using local Terracycle collection points. Download the free app Ailuna and take their ‘Ace your recycling’ challenge for expert advice written by one of the team who started Waste Free February.
  5. If it’s broke, fix it! Instead of chucking out your broken items, repair them. Learn how to repair stuff yourself, find a Repair Cafe or take it to a professional such as a cobbler. Even if you are replacing with something new, repair and donate your old item to someone who needs it.

Let me know if you are taking part in the comments! Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Remember, it’s better to try than do nothing at all. Good luck!

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Confucius

2 thoughts on “Is zero-waste actually possible?

  1. Thanks very much for your article Ruth; it’s concise and to the point. I’ll pass on your suggestions to Winsley residents via our Winsley Weaver magazine, if that’s okay?

    Best wishes,

    Jill

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