You might have seen Stacey Solomon talking about being "bin shamed" recently when her rubbish hadn’t been collected for a couple of weeks. But she’s not the only one that struggles with the amount of waste her family produces.
As a result of them not sticking to the rules of what goes in what bin, her trash was mounting up outside her family’s home. The presenter said how ashamed she was. Like Stacey, a lot of us have found that the more time we’re spending at home, the fuller our bins are, and the more household waste we have.
Here are a few tips on how to keep it under control:
Choose items in the supermarket that are loose or in less packaging. If a product comes in attractive packaging that is durable (such as toiletry or perfume bottles) then use it again for something else.
DIY cleaning products
Google comes in very handy when it comes to finding recipes for your own cleaning products. For example, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar can be used for a multitude of different uses from cleaning plug holes to cleaning mould off bathroom ceilings. Plus, both ingredients are more environmentally friendly than harsher chemicals. They also use less packaging than bottles of cleaning products.
Forget the receipt
Once we’re allowed back to the shops, always choose an email receipt rather than a paper one. It’s amazing how quickly receipts can multiply out of control and it’s much better for the environment if they’re never printed in the first place.
Cloth and glass are always best
Most of us are already in the habit of using cloth bags instead of plastic ones but it’s also a good idea to avoid plastic containers in your kitchen. Glass is a preferable option for storage; it’s better for the environment, it’s healthier and it’s even more stylish.
Donate your household "waste"
Always consider if you can donate unwanted items to charity shops or offer them to friends or family rather than throw them away. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
Get the little ones involved too
Like with other household chores, it’s good to get the kids involved. Inform them how important it is to dispose of rubbish responsibly. A good website for older kids to check out is mywaste.ie and they have lots of interesting facts and interactive features. For example, did you know that you can make a bicycle out of 650 recycled aluminium cans? The average household in Ireland is responsible for 117kgs of food waste, which is somewhere between €400 and €1000 per year!
As Rocky from Paw Patrol says "Don’t lose it re-use it!" Lots of kids are obsessed with crafting, and cardboard has a multitude of uses; from making dens and castles to seasonal crafts and homemade presents. It’s always a good idea to keep a little stash ready for the next time they’re desperate to create something they’ve seen on YouTube.
Upscale your bins
We all like a bit of online retail therapy. Although you might not initially think that browsing for bins could be fun, think again. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have a large general waste bin and then various other small boxes and bins for glass, cardboard and food waste. The latest designs incorporate different sections for different uses and are stylish enough to take centre stage in your kitchen. I think my husband will be both surprised and relieved that my latest purchase is something practical and useful too!