Win the war on waste

Our new columnist, waste educator Lindsay Miles, shares some savvy tips on how to reduce waste

Win the war on waste

Lindsay Miles is a dedicated zero-waste and plastic-free spokesperson who teaches people that with less waste and less stuff, we can all lead more meaningful lives. She shares below how to get stuck into these brilliant new habits in 2020:

'January is a great time to begin new habits. If you feel like you can’t see your living room floor for all the new ‘essentials’ you acquired during the festive season, a lower-waste lifestyle might be exactly what you need.

I began reducing my waste in 2012, after taking a challenge to give up single-use plastic for a month. Until then, I thought a full (OK, overflowing) recycling bin was a good thing – it hadn’t occurred to me that I should be recycling less, not more. For all its benefits, recycling means more trucks on the road and increased emissions.

I thought giving up plastic would be easy but, when I took steps to cut down, I was shocked at how much of it I used each day. However, I also saw opportunities to make simple swaps. I realised that while recycling is better than not recycling, there was so much more I could do before I got to that stage. Like what, you ask?

Well, refusing stuff I didn’t need, reusing items if possible, rethinking regular purchases to swap with lower-waste alternatives, and recycling what was left. In other words, the Four Rs. Big changes are just lots of small changes added together – here are a few ideas to help you start making a difference.'

lindsay's Hacks and tricks for plastic-free living:

  • Look in your kitchen or bathroom for one product you could swap for less packaging. Think unwrapped fruit, or bar soap instead of shower gel.

  • Take a packed lunch to work. Make extra dinner the night before and pack your leftovers. It means fewer sandwich packets in the bin (and it may save you money, too).

  • Rather than grabbing takeaway coffee, invest in a reusable cup, or choose to drink-in. Coffee really does taste better without the plastic.

  • Invest in strong woven or jute bags for your big shop, and always carry a cloth tote or other bag for impromptu shopping trips.

For more inspiration on sustainable living, make sure to read our monthly features online or pick up a mag at your local Asda store.