You might not be able to achieve an absolutely zero waste target this Zero Waste Week, but cutting down significantly is something everyone can aim for. As great as recycling initiatives are these days, there is still plenty we can do in the home to make sure we’re sending much less of our household waste to landfill, even the recycling plants, and the area we’re going to look at today is the garden.
Many councils now operate a food waste collection service and as amazing as this is, you can make sure you save even more energy by not only using up your food waste in the garden, but also transforming that outdoor space so it can accommodate other types of waste too. Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration and make your garden as green as possible…
There are two important ways your garden can help you cut down on food waste. Firstly, there’s the obvious helpful addition of a compost heap or compost bin. As mentioned earlier, food collection services are brilliant at keep food scraps out of landfill sites but every little helps, and if you can cut down your own contribution even more then all the better. Read up on the many different composting options and how to achieve the best possible compost and you’ll then have a vessel in which to put all those fruit and veg scraps the best possible use. Which brings us onto our next point…
How much rotten fruit and veg do you throw away every month? If it’s an alarming amount, perhaps looking into growing your own produce will not only encourage you to eat it all up a bit more often, but also cut down on food packaging waste associated with supermarket fruit and vegetables. Proponents recommend you plant as much as you possibly can, but make sure you do your research and plan carefully to avoid spoilt crops. And don’t forget, all that lovely compost can help things along very nicely indeed. Even just utilising your food and not worrying about out of date food is a great way to save money and waste.
Recycling Household Items
Getting a greener garden isn’t just about cutting down on your food waste. Take a look your household items to see if you can put some things to good use that might otherwise end up in the bin or the recycling. For example, getting rid of the polystyrene chips used to package goods can be a bugbear for many, but you might not know that they can be used for drainage in the bottom of plant pots. Likewise, empty egg cartons can have many different garden uses such as seed planters and bird feeders.
On a larger scale, if you’re thinking about investing in some new garden furniture, have a look in your attic or garage for any items that might help you go down the shabby chic route – old tables and chairs can be stripped down and treated to protect them from the elements, and old crates can be made into small tables as well as border planters.
The Bigger Picture
If you’re thinking about redesigning your garden on a larger scale, it pays to have a good think about how much energy you use in it. For example, mowing the lawn on a regular basis uses up a lot of electricity, so perhaps think about cutting down your lawn space, or letting some of it grow wild to make a more inviting habitat for local wildlife. Using your garden for many different uses – relaxation, propogation, education – can make a huge difference to your household waste, both directly and indirectly, so explore all the options you have at your disposal and see how you can make positive changes.
For any additional materials you might need on your road to reducing household waste via your garden, our Waitrose Garden voucher codes can provide you with great value compost bins, storage and garden accessories, and for those of you considering cultivation, Suttons Seeds discount vouchers give you the very best choice of not only seeds but also savings.
By Anna Scott, 6th September 2016