This years theme for Zero Waste Week 2015!

Click here for National Zero Waste week 2015
Each year the excitement builds during the wait to find out the latest theme for Zero Waste Week. When Rachelle Strauss of Zero Waste Week emailed me recently with the big reveal asking what I will pledge this year I was a little bit stumped. The theme this year is to ”Reuse’ – stop wasting money by saving resources’.  You can sign up here and I highly recommend you do – this is my third year of joining in with Zero Waste Week and every year it has provided me with loads of inspiration which has carried on way beyond the week.
I think ‘reuse’ is a really great theme.  I am a massive fan of swapping disposables for reusables and reusing things wherever possible. I have worked gradually to do this over the last few years and if you are looking for some ideas, I have listed some of the things I have tried and tested below. Before you read through them though, don’t feel you have to do all or even any of these to join in Zero Waste Week. I didn’t do it all at once at all. I took it really slowly, doing one thing at a time as I felt comfortable. Even making one change for Zero Waste Week would be a great step!  
  1. Swap clingfilm for using resusable containers with lids or covering bowls with plates – read more here, This is good for storing food in the fridge, the freezer and while out and about as lunch and snack boxes.
  2. Use reusable cleaning cloths – find out more here!
  3. Use cookware that is naturally non-stick and/ or has a lid instead of using foil and baking paper
  4. Take reusable containers to buy cheese and meat to avoid disposable packaging.
  5. Buy milk in reusable glass bottles (although upsettingly this article says Dairy Crest, a major supplier in the UK are planning to stop selling milk in glass bottles)
  6. Use reusable containers with lids use a reusable water bottle 
  7. Take reusable bags with whenever going out the house.
  8. Swap disposable sanitary products for a menstrual cup (or reusable sanitary towels – this isn’t something I have tried though).
  9. Don’t use wetwipes – find 10 ways to avoid them here
  10. Find out about alternatives to toilet paper here (I could only hack it for a month – can you do better than me ?;)?) 
  11. Use a body brush instead of single use exfoliators
  12. ‘Shop’ on sites likes Freecycle and Freegle. 
  13. Host or attend clothes swap parties
  14. Reuse fabric to wrap up gifts for family members
  15. There are loads of ways to reuse glass jars e.g. as plant pots,  vases and for all kinds of storage.
  16. Reuse envelopes as note paper and – I make a never ending fridge magnet notepad
As you might have gathered I am already doing quite a lot of reusing and I wondered what else could I do?  
Well although I do reuse a lot, there is always room for improvement, so I eventually I told Rachelle that my pledge was as follows:

I will review my reusables that need replacing every so often and see if I can find some longer lasting reusables. I will also see if I am using any disposables still and try to work out alternatives.

I’m thinking of things like the reusable plastic containers I use to freeze food in – every so often they break and I have to chuck them (or take them to my parents for recycling as they don’t recycle them in my area). I have been meaning to find longer lasting plastic free alternatives for a while now, so this will be a good motivator to get going with it!

Sustainable gift wrap course

So what will you pledge for Zero Waste Week 2015? Go on – you know you want to join in 😉

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  1. I like this challenge. Very timely. I think I could definitely get the family to consider packaging more carefully. We do use our long life shopping bags (mostly – I confess I do forget occasionally). I wonder how else we could reuse and/or reduce the amount of packaging? I have washable zip-lock bags. Perhaps I could take them with me to the market/grocers/butchers. Perhaps if I try to shop less at the supermarket, too, because they always use the most packaging. I'll give it a go. I think packaging is probably one of our family's worst areas, environmentally-speaking, and I'm sure we're not alone in this respect! I also need to find something to use as a food waste bin. It's not much good having a compost heap but no means of putting food scraps in it (bit daft really!). Hmm. This will take some thinking. Thank you for the prompt!

  2. Zoe

    Good luck with reducing your packaging Sandy! If you don't have a food scrap bin you could improvise with any container with a lid or even fill a bowl which you keep a plate over in the mean time.

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