Did you know that the amount of waste generated by the UK alone could fill Lake Windermere in just eight months, or London’s Albert Hall in about two hours? Yep, that’s a lot of baggage.
It goes without saying that our physical surroundings have a significant impact on our emotions and the quality of our thoughts – not to mention the environment, too. And waste is a big problem for all of the above.
As Marie Kondo says, ‘When I am surrounded by clutter, my attention becomes split among various unfinished projects, and my focus shifts from the task at hand to others that I am reminded of in the moment.’
Is waste reduction the secret to a happy home?
The good thing is, cutting down on your waste usually requires just a few small-scale changes to your usual way of doing things – changes which quickly become habits.
What’s more, by taking some of the waste out of your life, you’ll quickly feel the impact on your space, health and general happiness. Try a few of these stylish hacks to get organised and move towards a less wasteful, more streamlined way of living.
1. Pre-plan your meals
Meal prep isn’t just for fitness bloggers; it’s a valuable tool for planning a delicious week ahead while cutting your waste output. Before you even think about ‘adding to basket’ on your online grocery order, consider how to maximise the ingredients you buy.
The leftover veggies from last night’s dinner serve well for a nourishing soup; the fruit lingering in a bowl on your kitchen counter could make a great smoothie for breakfast, or can be stirred into a weekend cake bake or a bowl of yoghurt. Using everything up is not only better for your recipe arsenal, but you also won’t be adding to the tonnes of perfectly good food which goes straight to landfill each day.
2. Pass it on, literally
Let’s face it – we all have things lying around our homes which would have a happier life somewhere (or with someone) else.
It’s time to be a little ruthless; go through your closets and cupboards, and really consider whether you still use what you have or are simply hanging on for sentimental reasons.
Donate abandoned books to local schools or hospitals, unused toiletries to local women’s shelters, and send ignored clothes to a clothing bank or charity – spread the joy! Take comfort in the fact that someone else will find happiness in your once-loved items.
Plus, if you donate to the British Heart Foundation, they’ll even pick up the items from your doorstep.
3. Create a capsule wardrobe
Firstly, organise that wardrobe. We previously touched on the topic with style blogger and wardrobe aficionado, Lee Vosburgh – it’s actually a really fun activity for a rainy day.
Once you’ve determined which items make the cut (and donated the rest to charity or willing friends), make a commitment to buying less clothing. Whatever you buy from now onwards, you have to be completely in love with. No ‘maybe’ or ‘sort-of’ purchases: only buy items you’re crazy about.
You’ll immediately cut your clothing waste and be rewarded by a closet you’re excited to open each day.
4. Go paperless
Deforestation is a key environmental issue we’re facing, with an estimated 14% of all global wood harvest used to make paper.
You can easily cut down on paper waste by opting to make your shopping and finances paper-free. How? Simply opt for digital communications rather than post when you’re next logged in to your online banking, ask for a digital rather than paper receipt when you’re out and about, or choose to receive an e-receipt the next time you pay at an online store.
Also, check out of those irritating postal communication options when you next sign up for something – instantly less paper used, and less clutter surrounding your letterbox.
Shop waste-reducing brands to trust:
Passavant & Lee
If you’ve enjoyed reading, you might also like Plastic-Free Living Solutions, Secret Productivity Tips for your 24-Hour Day, and Seven Simple Ways to Save Water.