Conduct a waste audit in your home

This week try doing a bin audit! Taking a look at your rubbish shows you the reality of your waste and where you can make a change. The easiest way to do this is to make a note of every single thing you throw away (whether landfill or recycling) before you pop it away so you don’t need to rummage through bins (unless you’re looking for something for the kids to do during homeschool hours in lockdown – might get messy though!).

Categorize your items into similar materials – food scraps, paper, plastic, glass, aluminium etc. Is your rubbish mainly food waste? Could you set up a compost for scraps or a worm farm? Small spaces can have these. Is it mainly take away packaging? Could you take your own containers or cook more meals at home and freeze them for something fast and easy? What do you buy most frequently and if there is wasteful packaging – is there an alternative? Have you got lots of recyclables that you could be reusing for something else? Toilet rolls are excellent little seed starters, lots of items make for great wrapping of gifts, cans are good for growing out your spring onions and jars are perfect for drinking glasses, sauces, plant propagation and oat milk.

It’s also time to find out what you can recycle and what can’t be recycled in your area (your local borough/council/province should have info on this). Recycling isn’t foolproof – it works great (in most regions) for aluminium and glass but plastics need to be reduced as much as possible first.

Another thing to think about is your bin liner – lining the bin with plastic bags mean these only end up in landfill where the bags and their contents emit greenhouse gases. If you need to use a liner, things like newspaper work well.

Dare to share what your most common category of waste is?