Landfill is a big issue here in the UK. Each year, we chuck out 26 million tons of household rubbish, most of which gets buried underground, releasing greenhouse gasses as it decomposes. Add to this the potential for pollution to seep into the ground and enter the food chain and you can see why it's so important that everyone does their bit to reduce it.
So, how do we make a difference? Actually, a few changes here and there can have a considerable impact. Here are five easy ways you can help reduce landfill.
1. Give old clothes to charity
We put 300,000 tonnes of clothing in the bin each year - all of which could be reused or recycled in one form or another. So, instead of sending them to the tip, give them to a charity that can reuse them for a good purpose. Just pop your old clothes in the charity bags that get left on your doorstep and leave them outside for collection. How easy is that?
2. Stop wasting good food
The UK wastes a staggering 10 million tonnes of food per annum, with the average family throwing away £500 of groceries. None of this waste needs to go to landfill. Instead, put it in your food recycling or compost it for your garden. Even better, reduce the amount you throw away by planning weekly meals before you go shopping so you only buy what you need. Storing food correctly will also make it last longer. And if you have things you are never going to eat, do good with them – donate them to a food bank.
3. Stop using plastic water bottles
In the UK, we use 36 million plastic bottles every day and 16 million of these end up in a landfill. So, instead of sending your kids to school with a throwaway bottle, buy them a fashionable bottle they can keep. You can do this for your gym bottles too, there are even specially designed ones you can use for cycling or jogging so you don’t have to carry them. You’ll also find that using tap water instead of bottled water can save you quite a bit over the year.
4. Give household items a second life
Having a clear out doesn’t mean you need to throw things into the skip. There are plenty of ways to make sure unwanted household items avoid the landfill site. Before you get rid of anything, ask yourself if it can be upcycled. A bit of inventiveness and a tin of paint can work wonders on old furniture.
If you are going to get rid of an item, try to see if it is of any value to someone else: sell it on eBay, have a garage or car boot sale, list it on Freecycle. Who knows, you might get a little money as well as helping out the environment.
5. Use biodegradable coffee pods
For years we’ve been in the habit of putting used teabags in the food recycling and coffee pods in the rubbish bin. That practice, unfortunately, has become a bit of a problem. With the growing popularity of coffee machines, the number of plastic and aluminium pods, which take 500 years to biodegrade, has reached staggering proportions. In the UK alone we use over 350 million a year.
There is, however, a happy solution for environmentally conscious coffee lovers who want the convenience of the humble coffee pod – the compostable pod. Here at Moving Beans, we’ve delivered a biodegradable pod that fully biodagrades. So now you can have great tasting coffee with the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the environment.
As you can see, if you want to help reduce the amount of waste going into the UK’s landfill sites, there are quite a few things you can do: give your old clothes to charity, cut down on food waste, buy a reusable drinking bottle and reuse or sell on your old household items. And if you find this thirsty work, grab yourself a great cup of coffee, knowing the pod can be composted too.
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Landfill is a big issue for the environment, particularly here in the UK where we are so desperately short of spaces to put it. Each year, we chuck out over 26 million tons of household rubbish, more than half of which gets buried underground. Two-thirds of landfill is biodegradable, leading to large quantities of greenhouse gasses being released as it decomposes and thus speeding up global warming.