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1. Give away your leftover food

UK households waste, on average, seven million tonnes of food every year. Whether that be from buying too much when shopping, or not getting round to eating those leftovers, it’s a colossal waste of energy. Luckily, this nifty little app will help you curb that habit.

Olio allows you to both give away, and receive, all types of food to and from your neighbours and local community. Unlike food banks – who understandably take only non-perishable goods – you can find a new home for all sorts of things. Including that un-opened pot of humous.

Restaurants are also getting in on the act – if you run your own food-based business, or indeed would like to obtain some lovely food from them, then Too Good to Go enables you to do just that.

Why should I do this?

According to CNN, minimising food waste is the biggest thing you can do as an individual, to have the greatest impact on carbon emissions.

A third of the food raised or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork….The food we waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions.

www.drawdown.org

2. Repair don’t replace

We’ve got into the habit of replacing things when they start to show signs of wear and tear. It’s easy enough to chuck something out and replace it without much cost. It’s imperative, however, that we start making the things we buy last longer, rather than sending them to landfill without a second thought. Fix it, don’t bin it.

We get that this isn’t always the easiest task, though. Sewing, carpentry, electrics; they’re all skills that take honing over time, but the good news is that there are more and more places cropping up across the UK that can help you. Repair Cafes are free meeting places where you can find the people, tools and materials to help you repair something, together. You’ll learn a skill, meet new people and repair that long-loved item for use again and again. Find your closest one here.

Even better news is a new EU regulation that has been passed requiring electronics companies to make their products easier to repair (Apple we’re looking at you). In the meantime Ifixit have compiled various repair guides to assist you.

Why should I do this?

extending the lifespan of your possessions by getting them fixed is one of the most effective green direct actions available…consumption in 2030 is predicted to be twice that of 2010.

theguardian.com

3. Exchange your unwanted clothes

Selling clothes online can be a chore, and there’s a lot of things that aren’t really suitable for the charity shop, but we all get to a point when our wardrobe needs a refresh and the old stuff needs to go. Luckily, technology is on our side and a number of apps are popping up that allow you to exchange unwanted clothes for discount codes off your next purchase.

The ReGAIN App is one such beauty. Partnering with big names such as Superdry, Missguided, Moss Bros and Boohoo, all you have to do is box up a minimum of 10 items of clothing, select a drop off point and post it to ReGAIN for free. In return you’ll get access to codes to treat yourself to something new.

One thing to note, however, is that our clothing consumption levels have sky rocketed over the last decade, with fast fashion encouraging us to see clothing as a throw away entity. Use this app sparingly, and only when you truly need something.

Why should I do this?

50 trailers of unwanted clothes end up in landfill every single day in the UK. That’s an awful lot of perfectly viable fibre and fabric that could be put to better use. Making sure you recycle old clothing – even if it’s turning a tattered t-shirt into a cleaning rag – will help encourage the fashion industry into a circular model. Add to this the fact that there are many people round the world that would benefit from your unwanted clothing far more than you can imagine, and it makes very little sense to throw it in the bin.

Did you know that 70% of global population are second-hand market customers when it comes to clothes? It is over 5 billion people. They need your clothing more than landfills.

If clothes shopping is your guilty pleasure then you can find 7 ways to do it in a more eco-friendly manner here.

4. Put a stop to all that junk mail

Despite being 2019, we still seem to receive an awful lot of unwanted junk mail through our letter box. While putting it in the recycling bin is as good a response as any, why not try stopping it being produced and sent to you in the first place, it’ll save some trees and you won’t have to deal with reams of paper talking nonsense.

Whilst revoking your consent to be marketed to by ‘returning to sender’ is one option, Citizens Advice offer a number of other, simple options to implement, to help prevent you receiving more, or new, marketing in the future.

Why should I do this?

Think about the journey of a piece of direct marketing, if you will. Powering the computer to design it, the printer and inks to produce it, the paper (with potential plastic coating) to print it. Then it makes its journey in at least two, if not more, methods of transport. And then it will typically end up in landfill. Times that by several million, each year, and the carbon footprint of that one letter is surprisingly large. If you don’t need it, you might as well stop it.