Reduce your waste
Waste Reduction starts at the supermarkets and shops. By making slight alterations to your shopping list you can significantly reduce the amount of waste created in and around the home. By using your own shopping bags, avoiding products with unnecessary packaging, choosing reusable products and reducing your food waste, you can make a real difference to the amount of waste that would normally go to landfill. We have some more ideas below that will help you reduce your waste and in most cases save you money.
Love Food Hate Waste
7 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households in the UK every year, or, to put it another way, around a third of all the food we buy ends up being thrown away. If we stopped wasting food which could have been eaten, it would have the same impact on carbon emissions as taking 1.8 million cars off UK roads. It’s not about eating less, just making the most of the food that is bought, the average family of 4 could save as much as £50 per month.
Love Food Hate Waste programme is a national initiative designed to provide practical information to help people make the most of the food they buy and waste less of it. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for handy hints and tips for ways to love food and reduce your food waste and also sign up to their monthly newsletter for updates and recipe tips.
Love Food Hate Waste basics
The good news is there are a few quick and easy things we can all do to reduce the amount of food we throw away:
- combine leftovers from previous meals with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals
- cook a large dish and then divide into portions to freeze for another day, great for days when you will be busy or home late
- check what's at the back of your fridge and cupboards before shopping and keep an eye on 'Use by' and 'Best before' dates
- buy your fruit and vegetables loose so you can buy exactly how much you need - this also reduces packaging
- invest in storage containers and bag clips for resealing bags
- after opening packets of dried foods such as cereals, rice, flour and pasta, reseal them tightly or transfer them into storage boxes or jars
- take time to plan your meals for the week ahead - you'll find it much easier when you are food shopping if you have your meals in mind
- packs of meat and fish can be separated into smaller amounts for the freezer so you can take out only the amount you need
Some food waste is inevitable, but items like peelings, egg shells and tea bags can be composted to create valuable home compost for your garden.
Love Food Hate Waste posters
Our 2010 campaign focuses on Love Food Hate Waste, with the emphasis on buying smart, using leftovers and minimising the amount of food we throw away. As part of this campaign we have produced posters which can be downloaded below.
Home composting and water butts
Home composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It can save you money and it really makes those plants grow! See how easy it is to compost at home. You can buy a compost bin and get it delivered to your house. There are accessories and other composting systems available too.
Getting started with composting
Cheshire East Council works with Straight Plc to offer low cost home compost bins to their residents. Wormeries are also available which are perfect for patios and balconies and are easy to assemble.
Home compost bins and accessories can be ordered:
- online by visiting Get Composting or
- by telephoning the Home Compost Bin order line on 0844 571 4444
Around 85,000 litres of rainwater falls on the average house roof every year. You can collect the water and have your own mini reservoir for watering your garden and for other outdoor jobs.
To order visit Water Butts and rain saver Kits or telephone 0844 571 4444.
Reusable bag for life
Each year in the UK more than 10 million plastic carrier bags are produced: if laid end-to-end, these would stretch to the moon and back five times! By switching to a 'Bag for Life' the average person can prevent around 300 plastic bags ending up in landfill sites each year.
Here are a few handy hints to help you remember to use your bags:
- take bags with you every time you go shopping;
- keep spare bags in your car or at work so you're never without;
- let the check-out staff know you've brought your own before they pack for you - some shops offer rewards for bag reuse!
Cheshire East Council launched a special Bag for Life to mark the beginning of the new authority. This 'Recycle for Cheshire East' bag can be purchased from any Cheshire East Library and costs just £2.
The bags are made from Hessian Jute, a natural product, and are designed to be both stylish and practical. They have a useful wide base which makes it easy to carry bulky items - whether they be books, groceries, picnics, work or a gym kit.
Stop unwanted junk mail
Reducing the amount of junk mail you receive reduces the amount of waste paper that has to be disposed of and recycled.
Do you receive a lot of unwanted junk mail through your letterbox?
Here are some ways you can help to reduce your junk mail:
- Join the Mail Preference Service to have your name removed from Direct Mailing lists, register online at MPS online.
- Reduce unaddressed junk mail by joining the Royal Mail Door to Door service. Further details can be found by contacting Royal Mail.
- Refuse leaflets and flyers. Display a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on your door or mail box .
- Avoid joining mailing lists or leave mailing lists. When filling out forms or surveys, tick the box stating that you do not want to receive further information or offers.
For more information on recycling see the Recycle Now website.
Rechargeable batteries are not only cheaper than disposables, but they create less waste as they can be used again and again. The cost to recharge 4 batteries by the mains is approximately 2p, whereas to buy 4 new alkaline batteries can be as much as £4.
However,if you do have batteries that need to be disposed of, please take them to the store they were purchased for recycling or to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre where they have a battery bank.
Waste and recycling is now provided by Ansa - a company owned by Cheshire East Council