I am a simple person, but I’m not the only simple person.
I recently googled to check that we at home are doing all we can to reduce waste. Making the switch from cling wrap to bees waxed paper is working, but when I Google reducing waste this is what I found ...
“The three R's – reduce, reuse and recycle – all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R's save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills.”
Most importantly, I feel we should highlight reuse more explicitly - to resume is to refill, revive, resist, in turn helping us use less “stuff”. I recently listened to a Ted talk called “The Earth is Full”. It’s true, we’re on a very poor path and unless we change habits to use less, reuse more, grow differently but still make the right impact, we’re in real trouble.
I am over the moon and excited by our refillable candle launch, but I have yet again been challenged by brands with the question, how do we do better, do more right, be the best?
Then I read this ... and re-read it adding my own twist ...
The Five R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rot & Recycle.
If you have fully embraced "Reduce, Reuse Recycle" there are two more “R's" to learn.
Don’t create waste if you don’t have to by reducing the amount of materials you use. Here are a few good examples:
Individuals can save up to thousands of bottles and cans per year and use refillable bottles instead of buying single use beverage containers - why don’t we just stop selling water in bottles and fill up instead. Food containers and lunch boxes with repeat use are much better and will save you a fortune in all kinds of costs – possibly saving £8.00 3 times a week, 4 times a month across the year, equalling approximately £1152.00 (albeit less lunch from home cost). That’s a LOT.
Always copy documents on both sides of the paper instead of single-sided copying.. There should be very little reason to print anything anymore as we continue to develop in a digital world, giving less reason to throw any paper away reducing waste collection (which also wastes money).
Use cloth bags at stores and just say NO to paper and plastic. I keep spare reusable bags in the car and in my bag. I look to reuse every ounce of stuffing we get sent if I personally buy anything online. I am relentless about reusing boxes. To encourage our customers, we recently added a stamp to our packaging so we can tell customers they have contributed to our waste reduction.
Reuse your candle containers - because now you can! Reuse any material or product you can before you give it away or recycle it. This can be anything, really, to share with colleagues, neighbours, friends and family. For example:
- Binders, manila folders, and mailing envelopes
- Gently used clothing and toys your children have outgrown
- Gardening tools and homeware bits, tupperware, old crockery you no longer need.
- Glass jars to refill with cereal, granola, ingredients etc. Old tins for biscuits and cakes are priceless for storage and keep foods fresh. My mother-in-law has her favourite shortbread tin, bringing memories with loving repeat use.
The possibilities are endless!
Fix things before throwing them and buying new – like old jeans cut into shorts, giving your clothes a second life. My kids are avid buyers from second hand stores, with one refusing to ever buy new.
A few good examples or repair:
- Have a knife sharpener and revive those tired knives
- All the office-like furniture, and any furniture really, we buy is always bought second hand. There are stacks of it now available. Fix or refinish them to give them a new look.
- Sharpen gardening implements, a sharpened shovel makes gardening so much easier!
Kitchen scraps and yard trimmings are too valuable to bury in landfills. Banana skins for the roses, this week’s coffee grounds for the flower beds, even ash from the fire. Compost makes great soil, so learn to compost? Add a food waste bin to your kitchen cupboard.
Each residential rubbish bin or trash cart is destined for the landfill, approximately 40% is apparently food waste. Buy, cook, consume and eat more bubble & squeak, have more leftovers!
Did you know, households that compost can save money on waste disposal fees by reducing the size of their rubbish trash container to a smaller size? Share your learnings and your progress with friends to encourage others to adopt a new attitude.
Last but not least, if you absolutely cannot do something else with your stuff, find a way to recycle it. Here’s a few more tips:
- Buy in bulk to eliminate excess packaging that needs to be recycled
- Recycle your bottles and cans, but if at all possible reuse containers in different ways, and better still, use our candle refills in broken mugs. Our candle containers are easy to wash and start afresh.
- Use foil for reflection to keep birds off plants
- Turn loads of corks into a cork board