How do you reduce? It’s Reduce Week Monday 21 to Sunday 27 November

How do you reduce? It’s Reduce Week Monday 21 to Sunday 27 November

Reduce Week: the waste hierarchy has clear priorities: top of the list is reduce, next is reuse, and then comes recycle

** How do you reduce? Looking for your ideas for reducing waste – see below. Best ideas go into a free prize draw! **

Recycling is good – and Somerset’s 56.2% recycle rate is excellent and improving – but reuse is even better, and reduce is the best of all by preventing waste at source.

Reduce Week 2022 is from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 November, just ahead of Christmas wastefest and around spend-all Black Friday and spend-nowt Buy Nothing Day on 25 November. It is highlighting how easy it is to reduce the waste we all create and what more we could all do to cut back the tonne or so of rubbish and recycling each household produces every year.

Reduce can range from using up leftovers so not a scrap of food is wasted to switching from physical to digital and taking a long hard look at so-called cheap deals to avoid buying bad. And reducing the waste we create has many obvious benefits, from saving money, materials, time and energy to cutting carbon and avoiding clutter and mess.

There are so many ways to cut waste, save money and live better. Among the key messages of this year’s Reduce Week:

 

Fight food waste – more on this: somersetwaste.gov.uk/tackling-food-waste.

■ Save with meal planning – plan a week or more ahead to cook what you will need, waste less and use up ingredients, and freeze meals for the future.
■ Stockcheck then stick to a list – with that meal plan, and checking what is in stock in cupboards, fridge and freezer, make a shopping list and stick to it.
■ Store and eat your leftovers – make full use of fridge (max 0-5C) and freezer (max -18C and do label and date items), and have an “eat this first” section.

 

Go digital

■ Save money and cut waste with digital magazines, music, movies and more – from books to games – and sign up now for all that Somerset Libraries offer.
■ Vouchers and experiences – especially at Christmas, vouchers ensure items are wanted, while gifting experiences have far more meaning than “stuff”.
■ Get apps to help you save – from Olio and To Good To Go for food otherwise wasted and Refill for free water through to Freegle to give away unwanted items.

 

Buy better

■ Buy local: cut travel, packaging – as well as working hard for your custom, local shops mean less cardboard, fewer returns, and you can see before you buy.
■ Charity shops for real bargains – not only are charity shop items often unique and cheap yet good quality, you are contributing to a good cause.
■ Say no to “buy now” cheap deals – Which? warns each year about fake Black Friday deals, while Moneysavingexpert’s Martin Lewis has his Money Mantras, below.

 

What to know more? Check out our posts on Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor, sign up for the Somerset Waste Partnership e-newsletter (green button, below), and tune into the Talking Café at 1pm on Wednesday 23 November.

 

** How do you reduce? Free prize draw!

We want your ideas – and pictures or videos – on reducing waste, from tips on using up food to better festive giving and cutting back packaging. Share on social when you see “how do you reduce?” posts or email suggestions to recycle@somersetwaste.gov.uk. Best ideas will feature on social media and beyond, and go into a free prize draw for a refurbished tablet or laptop.