Going beyond recycling
Recycling is a good way of saving materials and energy, but it is even better to avoid creating waste in the first place, or to reuse items for the same or a different purpose. This saves even more materials and energy.
A simple example is reusing a glass jar that once contained pasta sauce to store home-made jam. This is better than recycling the jar as the energy required to collect, clean and recycle the glass is greatly reduced.
Reducing waste does not necessarily mean less consumption, but can include getting better value by choosing items with lower lifetime costs - in materials, energy, spares, supplies – because they are more efficient, last longer or need less inputs, even if the upfront cost is higher.
From reusable nappies and charity donations to selling unwanted items and make-do-and-mend, plus taking more care with food, there are many ways to reduce waste or reuse what you use. And it can often save you money, too. Click on navigation links on left of this web-page to find out more. You may also wish to pass on your reusable items via the growing network of social network sites including Freecycle and Freegle.
For more on SWP’s approach to reducing waste, visit our campaigns page.