Some Really Simple Waste Free Options That You Probably Do Half The Time Anyway

Reusable Nation - zero waste ice cream

Cutting waste going to landfill from your life doesn't have to be difficult or mean going out of your way. It also doesn't have to mean buying new tools or going way out of your comfort zone.

Sometimes it just means going for another option!

Read on to find out five ways to reduce your landfill load without even trying but just by choosing the better, more eco-friendly option.


1. Ice cream cones not cups

Skip the cup and go for a cone when getting ice cream. Ice cream is waste free when it comes in a cone! Why wouldn’t you want a cone anyway? It only adds crunchy goodness!

Skip the napkin it usually comes with by refusing it, or keep it and compost it after you've used it.


2. Shop second hand

If something is reused it is not wasted! So, skip the department stores and shopping chains, and shop where you can get what you need second hand, whether online or brick and mortar stores, trash and treasure markets, or garage sales.

You can snap up some great deals, and not simply impulse buying when you see something you want, looking to see if you can find it second hand first also makes you consider whether you really need that new item or could actually do without it.


3. Eat in instead of getting takeaway

Skip the plastic cutlery, mini sauce sachets and plastic container, as well as the rush! Sitting down and enjoying a meal at a cafe or restaurant saves so much waste that is created when getting takeaway.

The disposable container the food is put in, the disposable bag that that disposable container is put in and all the little one-use goodies that are chucked in the bag alongside it – plastic cutlery, wooden chopsticks, mini sauce sachets, straws, too many napkins - are all unnecessary waste.

Take the time to eat there at the restaurant and eat a meal as it should be eaten – on a plate with real cutlery and with company or with time to be with your thoughts. It’s much more pleasurable than rushing back to the office or home with a bag of food that will be semi-warm and soggy when you arrive.

If your lifestyle doesn’t allow for this, invest in a reusable container you can take in yourself and ask them to put your meal in it rather than their usual single-use option.

You may get some strange looks, but the more people who do this, the more it will become the norm, and the more accepted it will become. Discover our top 5 plastic-free lunch boxes.


4. Reuse before recycling

Reuse that beautiful glass jar that jam came in rather than recycling it. Before immediately chucking anything in the recycling bin, think whether you or anyone else could use it for anything. People who make homemade jam will happily snap up a used jam jar!

Probably something that your gran does, this was more common when it wasn’t so easy to replace anything and the perceived value of possessions wasn’t so low.

People who are thrifty in this way are sometimes seen negatively, but there’s nothing wrong with saving things like wrapping paper for reuse! We should reuse everything until it is no longer usable and only then should it be recycled.

Used bottles and jars can be saved and used at bulk food stores for waste free grocery shopping and/or to store your pantry items in.


5. Buy loose fruit and veg

Skip the pre-packaged fruit and vegetables and get them loose.

You usually end up wasting half of that massive bag of tomatoes anyway! This way you can get only what you need, meaning less food waste as well as less packaging waste. Win win!

Try to avoid using the little see-through plastic bags that are made available to place the loose fruit and veg in. Rather use reusable produce bags or just pop them straight into your basket and wash them at home before tucking in.

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