We all know that recycling what we throw out, our waste, and things that we no longer need is a good thing. In recent years my local council has improved what we can recycle, as well as local shops and local centres doing more to recycle even more than what the council can take in the waste collection, as locally I can no recycle things like plastic bags and crisp packets, to name a few. I am all for selling second hand goods on eBay that are no longer of use to us, but still got plenty of life left in them. And we started a compost in our back garden a couple of years ago, which is helpful for waste food as well as for grass cuttings and leaves.
Recycling our waste is a good thing. However, it is even better for the planet, as well as our pockets, to simply reduce the waste that we produce in the first place. I often think about redecorating and things around the house; it can be all very well giving away old sofas or selling them locally, but then you’re buying more to replace them. It just goes on and on.
In an effort to help us reduce how much waste we have in the first place, the Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP) has a ‘Watch Your Waste‘ campaign to get us all thinking about how much waste we have, and what we could be doing about it. As part of the campaign, they have created a Binterrogator. This is a simple tool that is quick and easy to use, and the whole family can have a look at it and see what they are throwing out that they don’t even need to be. You can also record what you bin over a period of time, and there are ideas to help you to come up with different things to do so that you can waste less and recycle more.
Have a quick look at this video about the Binterrogator here:
What the Binterrogator can help you do
Reusing and upcycling
When you see what is going in your bin, you can look at what could actually be reused, up cycled, or repurposed. I know that I am pretty bad at throwing out food. Although a lot does get composted, I know that things like herbs that are nearly bad, could actually be frozen. The same goes for other leftover food; it could be frozen to defrost for a meal another time.
I have found in recent years that clothing can be so cheap, that often if something gets a hole in, I’ll just throw it away. But I know that the whole fast fashion thing is part of the problem, so really need to stop this! When socks get holes in, for example, I know that I need to repair them to be worn for longer, rather than just throwing them out. Shirts and tops with missing buttons can be fixed and repaired, rather than going in the bin.
One thing that I really need to pay more attention to is what exactly is being thrown out. Of course, things like cereal boxes and toilet rolls can easily be recycled, but what could they become instead? With children, they could be turned into storage boxes for toys, games, and papers, as well as used for crafts. I definitely need to think beyond what you see, and think what else they could be in our home, rather than having to go to the bin.
Recycling instead of throwing something in the rubbish bin is something else that we need to improve. If something can’t be reused or repurposed, then the recycling is the next best option. As a parent, teaching my children what goes where is something that I am really focused on, because they will often just naturally go to put something in the big bin, rather than the recycling box. As long as it goes in the right place, and it can be recycled locally, then it will be better than it just going to an energy to waste plant, if it can be avoided.
So why not have a ‘binterrogation’ at home today? You could do the same thing in a month’s time, and see if you have started to throw less out, and started to reuse or recycle more. Why not involve your children too? It can be a great way to help then understand the world around them, and also have an idea of what kinds of things can be recycled and what can’t.
You’ll also help to save some cash if you reuse more of what you have, and will be a step in the right direction to saving the planet, as you will waste less.
*this is a paid partnership with Surrey Environment Partnership. All thoughts and opinions are my own.