Top tips at the shops

Everyone loves to shop – here are some great top tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle when out on the high street.

  • Buy more fresh produce or grow your own. This uses less packaging as well as being healthier.
  • Try to cut down on unecessary packaging as much as possible. Have a look on our greener packaging choices page for more some tips on how to do this.
  • Visit your local farmers market or greengrocers, where products often contain less unnecessary packaging and have travelled less miles.
  • Why not consider using your local milk delivery service. Dairies re-use the glass bottles by cleaning, sterilising and refilling them. This reduces the need for single-use milk containers. To find your local milkman, click here.
  • Consider using cloth nappies to cut down on disposables. Have a look at our Real nappy campaign for  advice about using cloth nappies and funding.
  • Hire or borrow – toys, tools, books, films etc – whenever you can.
  • Start to use your local library. They can order in thousands of books, films and CDs, including new releases.
  • Instead of throwing your unwanted items away, consider ways in which they could be reused. You could have a car boot, or garage, sale and sell these items. Alternatively, advertise items in local papers, or your local shop may be able to put a card in the window.
  • Support your local charity shop, or jumble sale, by donating unwanted clothing, household items and books.
  • If an item has come to the end of it’s life, think about fixing it rather than throwing it away.
  • Buy used/second hand items. You might even find a bargain. Websites such as Freegle and Freecycle are a great source.
  • Before replacing cookers, refrigerators and other white goods, find out if they could be reconditioned, for another couple of years’ use. Or, check if a local charity or community group could make use of the item.
  • Why not try to spruce up old furniture rather than throwing it out. Is there a local furniture reuse scheme near you?
  • When shopping, look for longer-lasting, harder-wearing products that are reusable, refillable or rechargeable, rather than disposable.
  • Say ‘no’ to unwanted bags. Keep old shopping bags for reuse. Remember to take your old bags when you go shopping, or keep spare bags in your car, or at work, so you’re never without. Supermarkets offer their customers “bags for life”. These harder-wearing bags last longer – and the supermarket will often replace worn out ones.
  • Alternatively, use cardboard boxes or cloth bags for your shopping.
  • Try to buy products packaged in material that can be reused or recycled.

If you have a top tip suggestion of your own that you would like to see shared on our website and social networking sites send us an email here