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10 ways to cut down on waste in lockdown!

In these extraordinary times it is important to remember when you throw something into the rubbish or the recycling, that is not the end of things.

Right now some councils around the country are unable to process recycling due to health and safety restrictions, it is now more important than ever to think about what you can do to reduce not just your rubbish, but also how much recycling you create.

Below are our 10 top tips for cutting down on recycling during lockdown:-

1) Make your own milk

Although they’re highly recyclable, milk bottles are big and bulky and take up loads of room in your recycling bin. So why not buy dried milk powder and make your own milk? It will save you lots of space in your fridge and it means you won’t need to brave the supermarkets so often.

2) Make your own Covid mask

It looks like masks will be in our lives for a while now so if you didn’t quite get around to making one last year, now is your chance. Check out these tutorials from Spotlight.

3) DIY Yoghurt

Did you know how easy it is to make at home? Start with your existing yoghurt, add some warmed milk and store in a warm place overnight, voila! Try Love Food Hate Waste’s recipe.

4) Stick to paper or cardboard packaging

Purchase items in paper or cardboard packaging where possible. Paper and cardboard can be home composted or, in colder regions, used as a fire starter in your fireplace. Egg cartons, toilet rolls, newspapers and writing paper can all be torn up into smaller pieces and placed in your compost.

If you don’t have a compost set up yet, here's the Sustainability Trust’s guide to making your own.

5) Go electronic

Check what mail you are still getting through the post and see if you can sign up for an e-newsletter instead or sign up to receive your bills online. Order e-books, e-magazines and electronic greetings cards or use your library to download free audio or e-books. You’ll save postage and packaging, and can start enjoying them immediately.

6) Ditch the plastic bottled water

Many of us are exercising more than ever during the lockdown so take a reusable water bottle with you instead of buying single use water bottles.

7) Create your own homemade baked beans with dried beans

Buy dried beans of any variety instead of tinned beans and knock up the family baked beans on toast classic, just without all the tins. It will reduce your recycling significantly and save you money as well. Check out this Jamie Oliver recipe online.

8) Hold on to glass jars and containers

Many community groups make jam for foodbanks so hold onto your glass jars and then donate them to community groups and op shops once the lockdown is over. Other containers such as margarine containers and ice cream containers can be reused as storage options.

9) Time to get crafty - with your milk jugs

If you have children stuck at home why not embark on an art project by diverting bottles away from the recycling bin. Check out these awesome DIY ideas for milk jugs.

10) Become a baker and a pasta maker

If you are one of the fortunate few who has flour, try some home baking and pasta making, instead of buying biscuits, crackers and dried pasta in packaging that will head straight to landfill.

Note for media: WasteMINZ is the largest representative body of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors in NZ. Formed in 1989, it includes seven sector groups who represent 65 territorial authorities as well as many large, medium and small players in the not-for-profit and private sector.

© Scoop Media

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