Reduce and reuse
Waste reduction means taking steps to decrease the amount of waste that we produce.
Waste that is not created in the first place does not need to be reused, recycled or disposed of, so preventing or reducing waste is the most sustainable and environmentally beneficial thing you can do in terms of waste management.
Reusing an item is more beneficial than recycling it as it can be reused just as it is. Recycling items is great but uses energy to sort, transport and re-make them into something new, so reuse items wherever you can.
Paper, furniture, clothing and computers are just some of the items that can be reused.
Some ideas to reduce your waste:
- Carry a reusable bag when you go shopping
- Try and reduce the amount of individually packaged items that you buy
- Try to avoid buying products with excessive packaging
- Avoid multi-buys unless you know the food will get eaten
- Plan what food you will need for the week and write a shopping list
- Find tips and advice on reducing your food waste at Love Food Hate Waste
- Find out more about food waste by taking Test Valley Borough Council's Love Food Hate Waste Quiz 245kb
- Rent or borrow items you may not use that often e.g. garden tools
- Sign up to a no more junk mail opt out service at Stop Junk Mail
- Print only when necessary
- Think before you buy .
Some ideas to reuse or prevent waste:
- Repairing broken appliances
- Giving old furniture and electricals to community reuse schemes. Information on local schemes at Furniture Reuse Network
- Using old scrap paper as a notebook
- Donating old clothes, shoes and homeware to charity
- Holding swishing events to swap clothes with friends
- Selling unwanted items at a car boot sale
- Offer your unwanted household goods for reuse through an online site like Freecycle or Freegle.
These are all easy things we can do to help others and to reduce waste!
There are also many voluntary and community groups who help with reusing all kinds of things people no longer want or use.