Helpful tips to reduce your waste
Not really a tip, more of a plea!
Please be sensible with your festive food. Spare a thought for those who will struggle to feed themselves and their family at Christmas and beyond.
If you have already purchased festive food and now, because of recent Government restrictions, you find you have bought too much please donate as soon as possible to your local food bank or food charity ( or use the Olio App if you have it to post your excess available). Safely, check on your neighbours who may be alone and take them a hot meal, make soup and use your freezer to store leftovers for the future.
Here's a link to one of my favourite websites, Love Food Hate Waste, where you will find loads of hints and tips for reducing food waste
Tree: Real trees help to remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing. after Christmas, you can plant your tree outside and reuse again and again. Buy one locally and make sure it was grown in the UK. Real trees can be recycled. If you have an artificial tree, don’t despair just make sure you use it until the end of its life before you dispose of it responsibly.
Candles: Choose candles made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax. These candles are eco-friendly because they biodegrade and are smoke-free. They are also better for your health. Often candles are made from paraffin wax which is toxic and is also a product of fossil fuel.
Christmas jumpers: Instead of buying a new one try swapping with family or friends or purchase second hand from charity shops or from sites such as Thrift Plus or Ebay. Only wash when they are dirty...man-made fabric sheds microplastics during the wash cycle.
Food shopping: Buy local or buy less. Produce bought locally means you will be supporting small suppliers and the local community, while minimising your carbon footprint. Shop your local high-street or market. Buy your fruit and vegetables loose and ditch all that wasteful plastic packaging.
Lights: Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produces a lot of CO2 - turn them off when they are not needed. Try switching to either LED lights, choosing lights that are powered by solar power or rechargeable batteries or installing an energy-saving bulb to offset the energy usage.
Presents: Buy local or buy less. Each Christmas, tonnes of products arrive from China contributing to lots of CO2 and lots of plastic goods. Presents bought locally means you will be supporting small suppliers and the local community while minimising your carbon footprint. Wrap in recycled and recyclable paper too!
Turning down the thermostat by 1C: Not only does this save carbon and money, but it's also a good excuse to plonk on that Christmas jumper.
Use the correct sized pan for cooking veggies: This saves energy and reduces the time taken for the pan to come to the boil
Have you got any more tips?
Did you know that white vinegar is a great natural cleaning agent for around the home? Uses include the following:
- rinse aid
- glass cleaner
- limescale remover
- multi-surface cleaner
- laundry softener
- stain remover
- pet odour remover
You really need the strong white vinegar for home use as the distilled malt stuff isn't acidic enough.
I was just in my kitchen tidying away earlier. I use washing-up liquid for general worktop cleaning in the kitchen and when I full the sink with the soap before I scrub, I definitely use too much. My kids also use too much liquid soap when they wash their hands. All this waste adds up to £1s metaphorically going down the sink. If this happens in your house try popping an elastic band around your soap pumps so that when the pump is depressed it doesn't go all the way down! Voila!
This method works with any liquid in a pump bottle where the pump part has a pronounced spout. For even more zero-waste points use the elastic band off your spring onions from the fruit stall or the ones the postman gives you!
Have you thought about switching to loose tea?
Tea purists often say that loose leaf wins hands-down over bagged any day but did you know that tea bags often contain plastic?
If you fancy trying loose tea all you need instead of the bags a sieve, if you make pots of tea, to catch the redundant leaves as they escape the spout. If you are a one cup person, get yourself an infuser, they don't cost much. Not only will you save on plastic waste but loose tea takes up way less space than bags so much more efficient for suppliers and for your cupboards.
By the way, we have partnered with Yorkshire-based independents 'True Tea Company'. We sell a selection of their tea loose from our tea tins or in biodegradable packaging.
There are loads more opportunities to refill than ever before so instead of chucking your old and empty bottles in to the recyling bin, refill it!
If you live near a refill shop like 'The Refilling Station' great! You can top up your liquid with eco-friendly, locally made dish soap without generating more plastic. We compare well on price with a common Eco(ver) washing up liquid often found in supermarkets. I am bias of course but I think our liquid is better, thicker and our tanks get refilled when empty meaning even less plastic waste! Our liquid detergents are also locally made in Yorkshire using fairly local ingredients too.
If you don't live near a refill shop, what you can do is purchase the biggest bottle of washing-up liquid you can find. There are loads of eco-friendly bottles available online. I have personally weighed a 5 litre bottle and a 500ml bottle and worked out that a 5 litre bottle saves approximately 7 new plastic bottles weight for weight.
Of course, another way of reducing your waste is to try to do smaller squirts for each wash load. After all it's not the bubbles that clean! I am sure a customer told me that a 7ml squeeze is all we need.
A great way of reducing your bathroom waste is to switch from shower gel and liquid hand soaps to sold bar soap. Ethical soap bars often come in carboard packaging or no packaging at all!
They are often made with ingredients such as glycerine, coconut and aloe vera and there are some amazing fragrances as well as fragrance free soaps for the sensitive souls.
Some people feel that their skin dries out more with bar soap but I actually feel that mine improves once my skin adjusts.
Pair your soap bar with a sisal soap pouch so you can hang it up to dry. The soap bag also exfoliates the skin and you can pop all the annoying little bits of soap you have left, in the bag and keep using.
I am very much guilty of claiming I don't have enough time to soak dried beans and pulses before cooking with them. I am just not very organised I'm afraid but I do want to start cooking with dried beans, especially, more often. I asked Santa for a pressure cooker to help me embrace the dried! i'm not there yet as my husband is obsessed with making tarka dahl which is pretty quick!
Dried beans are lighter to carry (no water weight), take up less space in your cupboards and you can even use the waste water as an egg replacer in recipes later on (although I have ready that some beans water can upset your tummy if ingested!)
Simply soak overnight and hard boil until soft. I prefer to boil the beans separately and add to recipes because I'm afraid of the bean water toxins!
Clare our shop manager regularly batch cooks dried beans and then cools and freezes them to use later. If you freeze the beans in one layer, I reckon you could tip them into a jar or pot meaning you'd be able to use straight from the freezer without defrosting first! Cool!
Yes honestly this was amazing considering I would usual chuck peelings in the wormery!
Only a few ingredients and they do say that most of the vitamins are in the skin don't they!
- Potato peelings
- milk or substitute
- white pepper
my inspiration was from this website https://lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipe/potato-peelings-soup
Do you want to ditch your plastic filled kitchen and bathroom sponges, cloths and brushes?
Sponges and microfibre cloths often contain plastic which is being rinsed straight down the drain and into the water streams and could eventually end up in our food!
You could reuse old and worn out cotton or clothing as cloths for mopping up spills and cleaning. You can even go as far as watching a 'how-to' on crocheting dish cloths out of old t-shirts! Odd old socks are great for damp dusting too...especially on slatted window blinds!
if the above just isn't for you and when your existing equipment is past it's best how about replacing it with one of the plastic-free beauties above? We stock Loofco natural washing up pads, cleaning pads and brushes. We also stock Maistik plastic-free cloths too.
Addicted to crisps..? Me too! I love them so much, especially if they are 'salt and vinegar' flavour! But of course we know that the packaging is a complex plastic that is unable to be recycled unless through a specialist system and even then I'm not sure what happens to it. Read on for a homemade snack swap that has a few other benefits...!
Put down those fried potato snacks and try making some roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas are a good source of vitamins and minerals and are high in protein too. You'll need a can of chickpeas or if you are using dried, make sure they are soaked and cooked first.
Coat your chickpeas in a little rapeseed oil (we have locally sourced in store by Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil on tap) and a your favourite spices - paprika and chilli work well. plonk on a baking try and roast for 35 mins at 180C or 160C Fan.
We stock a few savoury snacks to help you curb the crisp craving. Stock may vary depending on season and location but they are all packaging free...just bring a jar or a pot and fill up.
- British Salt & Vinegar Roasted Fava Bean (high protein snack or topper for soups and salads)
- British Salted Fava Beans (as above)
- British Salted Green Peas
- Roasted Soy Broad Beans
- Wasabi Peas
- Rock Salted Pretzels
- Chilli Bites (like spicy nugget-shaped rice crackers)
Did you know that most wrapping paper can’t be recycled and that’s before we take into account the plastic tape used to secure our perfectly pretty packages. If you are looking to reduce your impact on the planet try my tips!
Use brown uncoated kraft paper and get your children to write Christmas messages to loved ones (you could get away without a gift tag too!). Use a potato to make a stamp, use water-based ink or paint to decorate. Use recycled trim, ribbon etc and decorate with cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, sprigs of holly and evergreens.
You could use fabric as wrapping! Use charity shop fabric finds to wrap your gift and encourage the recipient to reuse.
Get your brown paper and paper tape from The Refilling Station.
Konjac sponges are natural konjac root which is a vegetable which grows in Asia. have been used for years in Japan for cleaning delicate baby skin and they are a gentle way of exfoliating dry skin. These little squishies couldn't be more natural or zero-waste which of course means they are biodegradable.
The sponges are hard when they dry and can feel a little odd when they are wet, almost like a gel.
Change up your cleansing routine and reduce your bathroom waste with the help of this natural sponge! You can use without a cleanser because the sponges are naturally alkaline a bit like a gentle soap.
Konjac sponges often come in different colours, usually black (charcoal), green (green tea) and red (clay).
We stock Konjac sponges from a new supplier Save Some Green. They cost £15.00 for a pack of 4 but because you perhaps shouldn't need a separate cleanser you may save a few pounds and if you want to reduce your bathroom waste give them a try.