Updated: Jan 15, 2020
If you have found our little corner of the web by following us on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen that for 2020 we made a pledge to provide ideas and tips for more sustainable living each and every day of the year. That’s 365 easy and budget busting sustainable actions that you can take to do your thing for the climate crisis.
Here is a roundup of the first 10 days, nothing too hard or too expensive and lots of ideas on how you can get greener this year.
TIP 1/365 TRASH AUDIT
Don’t worry if skip diving isn’t your thing, I personally don’t mind climbing inside a skip to find treasure but it definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I am talking about getting to know your rubbish pile a bit better.
Heard the phrase “Know your enemy”? For you to successfully defeat your waste then you need to know what your waste actually is. You could buy a reusable coffee cup for sure but if you don’t drink coffee from single use cups then it is really a waste of time, money and climate currency. Follow these simple steps to boss your waste pile like a pro....
Step 1) Choose a room you want to tackle and add a container to it. Over a month discard your waste into the container – we recommend that you separate the waste streams to make it easier. Make sure you include everything including lids and caps too.
Step 2) At the end of the month sort through your rubbish and identify where your waste comes from. This is your road map to making changes. Do you have lots of plastic packaging or do you waste lots of food? Where does it come from and where will it go now?
Step 3) Doing one thing at a time, find sustainable swaps and changes for each of the items of waste. It won’t happen over night and use up all of the stuff you already have first before replacing it with something new. Think about whether you actually need the thing in the first place and do your research before purchasing. Ask retailers for samples of things if you can to avoid buying things that don’t work for you.
Step 4) Repeat on a regular basis.
IDENTIFY YOUR RESOURCES You don’t need to go out and buy new things, in fact that is the exact opposite of what you need. Look at your stuff with new eyes, declutter like a mother and re distribute anything you don’t need to those who can make use of it. The things of value are not just the pretty bits and bobs you own but the less glam and obvious can be too, glass jars can be used for storage or take away boxes for freezer foods and so on, there is value in almost anything and everything if you can think outside of the box.
TIP 3/365 DOWNLOAD OLIO
We waste more than 10 million plates of food every year here in the UK. We have got to the point where it is weirder for us to share our food than it is for us to throw it away. There are a vast number of ways you can tackle your food waste but one of our top ways is by sharing your excess food with others in your community rather than tossing it. Olio is a great food sharing App, simply download it and snap a picture of what you want to share and someone in your area will come and collect it. No more waste and a fab excuse to meet like minded people in your community.
TIP 4/365 MEAL PLAN Planning your meals ahead of time is essentially your very own waste reduction strategy. Meal planning and having a comprehensive shopping list means that you buy and cook only what you need and can plan ahead on how you can make use of packaging and left overs.
Less shopping trips, less money, eating better and wasting less food all at the same time! When planning your meals make sure you think about work lunches and snacks too so you don’t get caught out in the work rush. Think about your scraps and try to plan meals with common ingredients so you can use up everything in your cupboards and include one day of “picky tea” so you can use up the bits and bobs in the bottom of the fridge or freezer. You can download your free meal planner here: https://www.thebottletopnotts.co.uk/freebies
TIP 5/365 PORTION CONTROL
Controlling the size of your food portions is a simple and cost effective way of making sure you don’t waste food. Instead of piling the plate high just because you can, stick to what you actually need and if you feel a little peckish later you can always top up, don’t forget the kids portions too.
TIP 6/365 MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR FREEZER
Making use of your freezer is an easy cost-effective way to reduce your waste in the kitchen. Freezing leftovers or close to expiry foods means you avoid throwing away perfectly edible foods, saving them from landfill and can have ready made meals for the busy days or days where you just cant face cooking from scratch which means you avoid fast foods in single use plastics.
My fave thing to do is pre-cut vegetables and portion them up in the freezer ready for lazy day quick stir fry meals.
TIP 7/365 LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE
If you don’t fancy freezing left over food then make use of them by incorporating them into new meals. Check out https://lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for leftover inspirations. They cover anything from bread ends to chocolate pieces all of which are easy and delicious! If you have done your meal prepping right then you could easily become a zero waste chef without trying too much.
TIP 8/365 SPLIT THE DISH Did you know that 600,000 tonnes (41%) of the waste from pubs, restaurants, hotels and quick service restaurants is food waste?
Tackling food waste isn’t just limited to making changes at home, next time you are eating out try ordering just one dish between the two of you and avoid the “my eyes were too big for my belly" scenario. Sharing plates of food is ultimately cheaper and is a much more fun and sociable way to eat too.
TIP 9/365 TOO GOOD TO GO
Food waste accounts for 8% of green house gas emissions, you can become a food waste warrior by making use of an app called Too Good To Go.
Too Good To Go takes food from bakeries and restaurants that would otherwise be wasted and turns it into “magic bags” of food that you can purchase at a reduced price, saving food from landfill but contributing to local businesses too.
TIP 10/365 TAKE A LUNCH
One of the biggest contributing factors to the climate crisis is our constant need for convenience and impulse purchasing. The key to over coming this is to get better prepared, taking lunches and snacks made at home means you will be less likely to make last minute wasteful purchases, the added bonus is that you save money and can have much healthier choices without all the packaging. If you are loving these ideas then let us know in the comments, subscribe for new blog notifications direct to your inbox or connect with us on social media outlets, we would absolutely love to hear how you are making positive changes towards greener living.