Zero waste in Glasgow, it’s happening. You can be part of the change and it’s never been easier to do it. Here are four easy changes you can make.
4 easy ways to cut waste today
Pack your bags for less waste
While it would be great to be jet-setting everywhere (maybe not, hello massive carbon emissions.) we don’t mean it this way, but if you are going on a holiday or break away, make sure you pack your reusable bags wherever you’re heading to make it easy to avoid the dreaded single use bags.
Even just a walk around, carry a bag with you just in case you get a last minute urge to buy something after window shopping (firstly ask yourself if you really need it though). If you manage to restrain yourself from buying while just out a walk, use it to carry litter you see lying about and dispose or recycle responsibly.
Use your food bin or start composting
Most councils have issued out food bins across Scotland so it has never been easier to divide up your food waste from the landfill waste. People think that because it’s food it will biodegrade but unfortunately, the amount of methane in landfills makes anything classed as ‘biodegradable’ not able to degrade in any way whatsoever unfortunately.
If you don’t have a compost pile, use the power of social media and ask people who is composting and would like to help their home veg/plant gardens bloom with the wastes.
It’s also worth noting that if you do have leftovers or food that you don’t think you’ll use, we would recommend you get in touch with shelters, soup kitchens, the amazing team at The Real Junk Food Project Glasgow or use the app Olio to share the food with people who may be looking for exactly what you’re offering. This all counts towards reducing your food waste and landfill contributions.
Ask yourself can you reuse it?
On the hierarchy of zero waste, comes reuse and lots of items you may throw away or even recycle can be reused. Here are some examples:
- Egg and yogurt cartons – grow your own seedlings to create a herb garden or start a veg patch (use your homemade compost if you can!), or ask local community growers if they would like your cartons for seedlings or maybe schools and nurseries could use them for projects
- Jars – this is for us, an easy one, refill the jars with your own bulk foods (available from us soon!) preserves, pickles or use it as a snack jar to carry with you so you not only avoid single use waste in wrappers but you also know exactly what is in your food. Jars can also be used as glasses to drink from, or even a vase – think outside the box
- T-shirts – they may have holes or stains in them but they can be cut up to be used as cleaning cloths/rags, made into bags or napkins, or, if you’re crafty with a sewing machine or know someone who is, ask them to show you how to re-style the top into some other clothing.
- Newspapers / Paper – these can be used to line bins, litter trays, mop up grease and spillages. art projects (ask local community projects if they can use them) or stuffing for packaging
There are so many uses for things as long as you think outside the box and get creative. Before you do anything with it, think of what you can possibly use it for – there are thousands of videos on YouTube of that can teach you different uses for items, best of all, they’re free and you can learn something new!
Sort out your recycling
Always check your local council’s website so that you know what can be recycled kerbside and what cannot. The amount of products we think we can recycle when actually we can’t is remarkable and unknown by most people for example you can’t recycle the bottom of pizza boxes as the grease contaminates the recyclate (recyclable materials).
Here are some top tips from Oliver Heath for Recycle for Scotland that makes recycling easy
Recycling materials uses products that would otherwise end up in landfill and therefore can give life to what once was ‘single use’ therefore reducing carbon emissions from landfill sites.
While numbers for recycling have increased over recent years in Scotland, a lot more could be done, so get yourself informed of what recyclate your local council takes and check where you can take or send other items to. Especially look into projects like Terracycle which take normally non-recyclable materials and they recycle them.
There you have it
Now you have four easy zero waste actions you can implement today.
There’s a feel good factor when you learn something new, re-purpose something and do good for not only yourself but others too, so get creative, informed and think outside the box.
Let us know what changes you’ve made to reduce your waste and start living more zero-waste via our contact page or through our social media links below.