PFJ 2020

31 Baby Steps to low-waste living

Apologies for the lack of alliteration… but hooray, it’s Plastic Free July!!

To mark the occasion I thought I’d add to this post daily with a new step you can take at home to help you reduce your waste.

Whilst I am far, far, FAR from completing my own journey to zero-waste, I love how Plastic Free July pushes me to up my game that little bit more. I hope it can encourage you in this way as well!

Visit this page each day to get your next step, or like the EcoNotes Facebook page.

On days 1-5 we’ll be setting ourselves up so we can make good decisions throughout the month, and from Monday 6th onwards I’ll be sharing tips in accordance with my (often ignored) cleaning schedule: Menu Monday (kitchen), Toilet Tuesday, Washing Wednesday… you’ll catch on.

Remember: if you start getting impatient, feeling like we’re crawling at a snail’s pace, that’s the idea – small changes are the ones that stick!

Good luck, you can do it!!

Day 1: What’s in your bin?

My advice to get started is always the same – every time you put something in the bin, question it.

  • Could I live without this item?
  • Is there an alternative with recyclable packaging?
  • Is there an alternative with no packaging?

You can choose to do this on an item-by-item basis, or keep a written list next to your bin to review at a later date.

Let your housemates know – they might like to join you on this mission too!

Day 2: Know your packaging symbols

If you had a go at yesterday’s step, you may have started looking for recycling symbols. Many companies make our lives easier these days by actually writing which parts of their packaging are recyclable or non-recyclable, but many just use symbols and leave it to chance as to whether or not the consumer can be bothered to do their homework.

So today’s step is just that: do your homework! Or at the very least make use of mine… 😄

The first thing I discovered when looking into this was that the two green arrows in a circle (above) SHOCKINGLY just mean the company supports environmental charities. It does not guarantee the item uses recycled material/is recyclable.

The best thing to do when it comes to plastic is to get to know your triangle numbers. Although each borough or council differs in what they collect (more on that tomorrow…), this chart is a good starting point. Why not print it off and stick it by your recycling bin?

Whilst the info here will go a long way to helping you make better decisions, do also have a little google yourselves if you have time.

See you tomorrow for the next step!

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