Reduce, reuse, recycle

There are simple things we can all do to help cut down on waste, like not buying more food than we need, buying things with less packaging and reusing household items and furniture.  Try some of our tips below.  Less waste means less to dispose of, which saves money and resources. 

Love food, hate waste

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You can save up to £425 a year by sensible shopping, cooking more carefully and storing items to maximise their shelf life.  Find out more on the Love Food Hate Waste website. 

Positive shopping is one of the easiest things you can do to cut down on waste:

  • Buy local goods to save on shipping and packaging.
  • Buy items that have a longer life span or shelf life.
  • Think about whether buying cheap will mean buying twice.
  • Plan weekly food shops so you only buy what you need.
  • Avoid buy one get one free offers on perishable items that might not get eaten.
  • Bulk buy non-perishable items - it can be cheaper and save on packaging.
  • Look for concentrates as this can save packaging.
  • Buy items with reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.  
  • Don't forget your reusable bags.
  • And finally think always ask yourself if you really, really need it 

Disposable nappies make up 3.2% of our waste in Cornwall.

You can find out about the benefits of using real nappies at the Go Real website.

The Mail Preference Service stops up to 95% of junk mail by removing your name from many of the lists used by postal companies.  It’s free – just remember to renew it each year.  Find out more in our How to reduce junk mail fact sheet.

Charity shops are always grateful for donations of unwanted items in good condition.  You could also organise a give and take event or give items away via Freecycle, Freegle.

You can donate usable furniture to community projects like RE:SOURCE in Bodmin, Heartlands Furniture in Pool, GOFA in Penzance and Cornwall and Plymouth Furniture Reuse Project.

Or sell your spare stuff at garage sales and car boot sales or on eBay.  If you can transport items yourself, most towns have their own auction rooms, which are also a good way of selling and buying second hand items.

If you run a business, you may have scrap items that Cornwall ScrapStore  can make it available to their members to use in creative arts and crafts. Schools, nurseries, play schemes, community groups and families can take as much material as they want for an annual membership fee.

Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It's easy to make and use.

Cornwall Council is part of a national scheme to provide low price compost bins directly to your door. Use your Cornwall postcode to purchase great value compost bins and water butts from Get Composting.