This is a collaborative post.
I’ve been passionate about green living since I was in school and I’m really pleased to see such a surge in the amount of people who are taking an interest in zero waste challenges, recycling and eco-friendly products and methods. Today, I thought I’d do a round-up for you of some quick and easy ways to live a little greener, recycle what you can (beyond your kerbside bins) and book a rubbish clearance whilst keeping your conscience clear.
1. Take your old reading glasses to your local Marie Curie charity shop to be recycled instead of putting them in the bin. They will arrange for them to be donated to people who need them in communities across Africa, India and Eastern Europe.
2. Ditch plastic and paper straws for reuseable alternatives made from stainless steel or glass.
3. Your spent ink cartridges can be recycled! Send them to Freepost RTSU-HZGR-BTEU, The Cartridge Recycling Centre, 5 Romaine Close, Burgess Hill, RH15 0NS.
4. Try using soap bars instead of shower gel in plastic bottles. You can do the same for shampoo and conditioner with brands and shops like Lush offering many delicious-smelling alternatives!
5. Take a reuseable cup to your local coffee shop instead of using their disposable cups. Most UK chain coffee shops will give you a small discount of around 20-50p including Pret, Starbucks, Costa, Paul and Greggs.
6. Make your own playdough instead of buying the ready-made versions in plastic pots. You can easily change the colours and scents with food colourings, herbs and spices and when you’ve finished playing, the dough can be recycled in your food caddy.
7. Don’t bin your used bras! Instead, send them in the post to Against Breast Cancer or drop them off at your local ‘bra bank’. For every tonne of bras collected, the charity receives £700 to fund their research.
8. Keep broken crayons in a box and when you have enough, they can be melted down in the microwave and poured into moulds to make new crayons which (a) saves them from being put in the bin (b) makes cute novelty crayons for your children and (c) saves you from having to buy new crayons.
9. Ditch disposable sanitary pads and tampons for cloth pads or menstrual cups instead. You can also use reuseable cloth nappies and liners instead of disposable nappies and reuseable cloth wipes instead of wet wipes. Infact, it has recently been announced that the government is looking to eliminate the use of wet wipes as they’re classed as a single-use plastic and are often flushed away causing problems in our sewer systems.
10. We all know that a new baby should mean a new cot mattress but don’t get rid of the old one just yet. Instead, think about covering it in your favourite fabric to make a lovely floor cushion for your little ones or a bed for your pets.
11. Use split or worn wellies as planters in your garden or yard.
12. Buy wooden toys or second-hand toys where you can.
13. If you need a quick, next-day solution for rubbish clearance and you’re passionate about making sure that your impact on the environment is kept to a minimum, consider Clearabee — the UK’s largest man-and-van style rubbish clearance company. They divert over 90% of the waste collected during a rubbish clearance collection away from landfills and in many cases, everything they pick up will be recycled or upcycled instead.
Do you have any nifty ideas for green living, recycling or reducing your waste?