Reduce Your Waste

Today in the UK, many of us embrace a high standard of living compared to previous centuries.

Our way of life is driven by our desires for comfort, convenience, the latest fashions and tech. But this has a downside. If every person on the planet consumed the earth’s natural resources at the rate we do in the UK, we would need an extra 2 planet Earths! Clearly, we need to be smarter with how much ‘stuff’ we consume and cut down on our waste wherever we can.

Recycling Chelmsford Statistics
58.80
Recycling rate in Chelmsford

Chelmsford’s Natural Environment is in Danger.

The world’s population is growing rapidly. There are an estimated 7.8 billion people on the planet, which is expected to rise to 10 billion people by the year 2050. This means we need more housing, which means more waste, more strain on limited natural resources and locally, pressure on Chelmsford’s recycling & waste teams to collect and process it all.

An ever-increasing population also brings a demand for more shops and factories, more resources like food, water and electricity, plus the demand for roads to carry more cars and public services to help more people.

It’s very important that while Chelmsford evolves for this growing population, our city’s natural resources and green spaces are not only protected but enhanced. Once we lose them, they may never come back.

Chelmsford Summer Highstreet Green Living

What Can I Do to Help?

The single greatest way we can do this is by limiting consumption and cutting waste. This is why Chelmsford City Council works with residents, businesses and community groups alike to encourage a more sustainable way of life, with reducing waste at its heart.

If you’re as passionate as we are about preserving our natural world and protecting future generations, we’d love for you to get involved. Alongside this website, you can also follow Love Your Chelmsford team on Facebook and Instagram to find out about green events and most importantly, tips on living sustainably, with less waste and a more ecological mindset.

We also offer free talks and workshops to community groups and organisations about climate change, environmentalism, recycling and waste reduction. The Love Your Chelmsford team are also available to attend roadshows and environment-focused public events.

chelmsford river clean up litter pick 2020

So What Does ‘Reducing Waste’ Actually Involve?

It’s a myth that reducing waste just means putting less things in landfill.

This is, of course, very important, but we all produce much more waste than just what we put in our black bins. Think how much petrol is wasted by sitting with your car idling in traffic, or how much electricity is wasted when lights are left on unnecessarily, or how much water is wasted if you leave the tap running whilst brushing your teeth. It’s small moments like this that add up to create a huge amount of wasted resources.

So where do we start in cutting our waste down? What causes the most amount of waste in our daily lives? How can we make a difference without affecting the way we live?

green living reusable items

Here’s a few key areas that cause lots of unnecessary waste but have some surprisingly simple solutions! Follow the links below to read about each of these areas in more detail:

 

  • Food Waste The decisions we make around food can have a serious effect on the environment. An average UK family of four currently wastes 1 out of 5 bags of their food shopping. Food takes vast amounts of fresh water, land and labour to produce, so we need to repair our relationship with food by enjoying and making the most of every bite.

 

  • Energy Consumption Non-renewable energy sources like coal, oil or gas are all fossil fuels, so they produce dangerous chemicals when used that are damaging to our environment. It also means that these resources are limited, so they will run out of at some point in the future. This is why we need to conserve our resources, remove waste wherever possible and switch to green energy sources as soon as possible.

 

  • High Carbon Diets Globally, animal farming is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s cars, trains and planes systems combined. This is because rearing animals for food requires massive amounts of land, crops, water and energy. Unbelievably, more than 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day, mainly to make space for farmland. To help slow this, we need to consider ways we can reduce our waste and make every steak, pork chop and leg of lamb go that bit further.

 

  • Plastics Pollution Over the last century, plastic has become part of everyday life. From bottles and bags to plastic pots, tubs and trays, our lives are full of it. The problem with plastic is that most of it isn’t biodegradable, so it doesn’t naturally break down. Instead, it can remain in our environment for hundreds of years. We are becoming a plastic planet. But we don’t have to – if we reduce our consumption and recycle as much plastic as we can.

 

  • Fast Fashion Fast fashion is a business model based on taking styles from high-end designers and delivering them in a short time at cheap prices, typically using lower-quality materials. It relies on mass production, low prices and large volumes of sales. This causes many environmental issues, including the fact that 165 of the chemicals used in the production of clothing are hazardous to health or the environment. This is why we need to make sure we produce as little waste as possible and choose to buy quality items of clothing over quantity.

 

  • Chemical Cleaning Products Many household cleaning products cause irreversible damage to local wildlife, due to the poisonous chemicals entering their habitats – and we can end up eating the chemicals too. However, eco-cleaning products are a solution. By using eco-cleaning products we not only reduce but completely replace the toxic waste with something safer for us and local wildlife.
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