A new house mate joined our flat last month, and among the belongings he brought with him was a Phillips sound system from the 70s. It had been his grandad’s, his dad’s and now it belongs to him – and it still works perfectly.
It got me thinking about the saying, ‘they don’t make ‘em like they used to!’ and maybe there’s some truth in that. Nowadays we only keep a mobile phone for 2 years until we discard it for an upgrade, we give up easily when a device runs slow or gets damaged and the average person buys 3 new gadgets every year.
The nation’s habits are changing! WRAP’s new report, Valuing our Clothes: The Cost of UK Fashion shows that as a country we are now putting less clothing and textiles into residual waste, and finding ways to re-use and recycle textiles instead. The report revealed that since 2012, 50,000 tonnes fewer items of clothing have been disposed of in household bins.
Fantastic news! And here’s why it’s such a big deal:
All the best things in life come in jars: peanut butter, Nutella, jam, olives, mayonnaise… the list goes on! But consuming these foods at the rate we do leave us with an awful lot of jars - with the average UK family getting through 500 glass bottles and jars annually. And while glass is a great sustainable material because it is 100% recyclable, we want to emphasise that sustainability is all about reducing, re-using and recycling in that order. So if, like me, you can’t bear the thought of reducing your peanut butter consumption, it’s time to get re-using! Here are some surprising, interesting and useful ways you can re-use your glass jars.
You breader believe it! The Food Waste challenge is launching and rolling out across three London Boroughs this month – Havering, Kingston and Waltham Forest. Now you might think “that’s a bit munch”, “wheat’s in it for me?”, “I don’t carrot all”, or “I donut want to get involved”, but we think it’s incredibly eggciting and we’re looking forward to seeing some fantastic results in food waste reduction.
But - puns aside - food waste is a chronic issue in the UK, with 1 in 3 of us throwing away a banana with a minor bruise or black mark on the skin and households throwing away 40% of the bagged salad they buy every year. WRAP estimates that 4.2 tonnes of perishable food is wasted or lost each year – that’s as much as £700 a family.
This week it emerged that UK consumers throw away 40% of the bagged salad they buy every year. That is 37,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 178million bags, going uneaten every year. Mind boggling figures.
But really when you think about it – this news is unsurprising. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t lost many a salad bag to a soggy fate at the back of the fridge and ultimately the bin. Many of us have good intentions to eat salad with every meal, but end up wasting it instead.
It turns out there is a simple, delicious solution (that I have tried and tested myself) – make and store a massive salad that will stay fresh and crisp all week long. If you have a busy lifestyle and not much time for cooking, this 10 minute salad preparation will save you money and time preparing meals and make you much more likely to actually eat the salad.
This week, whisky lovers and cleaning fanatics were left questioning their shopping habits, from the news that the elaborate packaging on these products makes them are “a nightmare” to recycle. As well as cleaning spray bottles with a metal spring and whisky bottle packaging, Pringles tubes and Lucozade Sports bottles were singled out by The Recycling Association as “villains” of the recycling world.
This advice, however, was somewhat misleading. As several councils were quick to reply, items such as Lucozade bottles, Whisky bottles and cleaning spray bottles can actually be recycled.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – so the saying goes. An article recently published by Money Saving Expert suggests there could be some truth in this.
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