The combined effects of making, using and disposing of all the stuff we consume in our lives makes up a big proportion of our carbon footprints. There are lots of ways we can start to walk more lightly. Here are just a few, in order of importance, based on what’s called the “waste hierarchy”
- Only buy what you need, and use what you buy
- Buy items with a longer life or that are designed to be reused
- Buy reduced items at the supermarket – or get the Too Good to Go app to discover Marlow eateries, including Starbucks, that offer bags of reduced-price goodies towards the end of each day.
- Sign up to paperless billing or banking
- Consider sharing rather than owning a wider range of products – e.g. by hiring cars, tools and clothing
- Avoid unnecessary packaging
- Use “bags for life” rather than disposable supermarket carrier bags
- Buy goods second-hand where you can. A good way to do this in Marlow is via the Facebook group Marlow Buy and Sell
- Donate items that are still in a good, usable condition via charity shops, online services like Olio, or local social media like Freecycle Marlow
- Repurpose glass, plastic and cardboard containers to give them another life
- Reuse wrapping paper or gift bags
- Convert old clothing, towels or sheets into cleaning rags/cloths
- If you have items that are a bit worn or damaged but still serviceable then get them repaired. Here in Marlow you can start by visiting the great Marlow Repair Cafe!
- There are also lots of commercial repair options available locally for clothing, phones, computers, shoes and many more things. If you’re unsure where to start then pop a question on one of Marlow’s big social media noticeboards.
- For advice on options for clothing repairs, visit Lady Sew & Sew on Institute Road
- Did you know that Marlow clothing outlets like Toast now offer free repairs?
- Buckinghamshire Council distributes several types of bin to help all households separate their waste for recycling. Check its guidance and see if you can reduce how much you put in your black bin for final disposal.
- If you can then fit separate recycling bins in your kitchen so putting the right waste in the right bin can become an easy habit
- Collecting food waste can be the most difficult thing to do. Keeping a small caddy on your counter can enable you to collect small quantities for transfer to your outside brown bin, reducing any indoor nastiness.
- Batteries contain toxic metals and can cause fires in bin lorries and waste treatment plants, so it’s really important to separate them for recycling. Here in Marlow you can place small, clear bags of batteries on top of any waste bin that you put out for collection
- Buckinghamshire doesn’t collect flexible plastics for recycling, but selected Sainsbury’s stores now do, including Sainsbury’s Marlow on West St, via a bin behind the main tills
Dispose of waste responsibly
- Whatever waste you cannot avoid or separate for recycling should be disposed of responsibly. In particular, this means putting it in your black bin at home or municipal litter bins, and never dropping litter.