Reduce plastic waste. Refill not landfill. It's painted in bright yellow letters on our shop front. It's what we believe. Our shop offers you the chance to shop ethically, sustainably and healthily. But what about at home?
An obvious one but one that bears repeating. While household recycling rates in England are going in the right direction (45.5% in 2019) it has begun to slow in recent years. Regardless of these statistics, we must keep recycling or repurpose our household waste – and we need to do it properly. One of the common mistakes people make is not knowing exactly where certain items can be recycled. While the Council's weekly collection is vital, it's important to know exactly what goes in which bin, bag or sack. Wrong items that end up in the wrong place adds more time at the sorting depot and if the wrong material gets missed it can affect whether certain collections can be recycled effectively at all.
Make sure you know what goes where. This is a useful guide to get started:https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/environment-planning-and-building/waste-and-recycling/recycling/a-z#books
Any items that the Council is unable to recycle can often be repurposed elsewhere. For example, you could use an old rug on your homemade compost heap to keep the heat in. Or sell them on or donate to charity shop.
Reusable coffee cups and water bottles are almost a fashion statement now but that's no bad thing. As long as we don't end up buying a new one every few months – defeats the point somewhat.
And just as fashionable: tote bags. While we do offer paper bags for a small fee in the shop, we encourage all of our customers to come prepared with a bag for their shopping. And hopefully by promoting it in our shop, customers will get used to doing it elsewhere. But do be careful when purchasing your next tote bag. Find out what it's made from, a blend of recycled and organic cotton or hemp is actually better than 100% organic cotton. Tote bags or shoppers should be a long-term purchase, helping you with your shopping for years to come.
If you're crafty, there are so many ways you can repurpose everyday household items. Just a quick Google comes up with hundreds of ideas but here's a few:
- Old jars are perfect for repurposing. Many of our customers use them as containers for our wholefood refills. We also use them in the shop for charity jams.
- Hold on to your coffee grounds, they make a great fertiliser.
- You can use the wooden sticks from an ice lolly as labels for your plants and flowers when they are just seedlings.
One final challenge...
Lots of tips here, bit one of the best ones we can give you is to remove your general waste bin altogether. Try it out for a week and see how you get on. It will give you more incentive to check if the items you are purchasing are made of materials that can be recycled and better understand your options outside of the weekly recycling pick up.