Oh dear I’m sounding very Bah Humbug.
But I’m not. I love Christmas. As the song goes it’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.
It’s magical, a time to spend much needed memorable quality moments with those you love.
It is also a very wasteful time of the year. Let’s be honest, it is.
So when the knowledgable Gina Caro from Gypsy Soul contacted me with a suggested guest post on how to do a household waste audit, I thought – yes this is the perfect time to talk about reducing such waste.
And over to Gina…
How to Do a Household Waste Audit and Why You Should
A waste audit is a way for you to collect information on how much much waste you produce and what items you are throwing away. Every year we produce around 3% more waste than the year before. This means every 25 years we double the amount of waste we produce and all of that waste has to go somewhere.
Why Should I Do A Waste Audit?
If you are wondering why you should do a waste audit for your home then here are a few waste facts for you…
- In the UK the average person throws away their own body weight in rubbish every 7 weeks.
- The average UK household produces more than a tonne of waste every year. (One tonne is roughly the weight of a small car.)
- Together this equates to a total of 31 million tonnes per year.
All of the above facts and more are from the cbenvironmental website.
By conducting a waste audit for your home you can understand what type of waste you are producing. Once you are aware of your own waste you can then take steps to reduce it.
How To Do a Household Waste Audit
So we’ve established why it’s a good idea to do a waste audit but how do you actually do one? It’s actually pretty simple and doesn’t require any special skills other than being organised.
As I said earlier the idea of a waste audit is to record every single item that is going into your bin. To make this process easier for you I have broken it down into 4 simple steps…
Step One – Time Frames
The first thing you need to do is decide how long you want to record your waste for. It could be a week or month depending on how thorough you want to be. Start with a week and see how you get on.
Step Two – Create a Data Collection System
You are going to need somewhere to record your data. I’d recommend creating a spreadsheet on your computer. You can do this using programmes like excel. It’s best to split your waste into sections for example plastic, glass & cardboard.
Step Three – Decide on a Method & Planning Ahead
If you want to do a successful waste audit you need to create a plan beforehand. You need to consider how you are going to sort through your waste. You can either record every item as you go along or wait until the end of the day and do it all in one go. The latter method may be a little time consuming so if you’re short on time the 1st option would be best for you.
Step Four – Record your Data
The final step is to conduct your waste audit. Remember for this to be effective you must record every single item that is going into your bin.
I’ve Done My Waste Audit, Now What?
Once you have completed your waste audit it’s time to analyse your results. Here are a few questions to get you going…
- What are you throwing away?
- Which items do you throw away the most?
- Is their a recyclable or reusable alternative you could start using instead?
This is the time to get inventive and find more sustainable alternatives.
Why not challenge yourself to halve your household waste over the next 2 months? Do you think you could do it?
This is a guest post written by Gina Caro from the blog Gypsy Soul: A Sustainable & Simple Living Blog. Gina writes about zero waste, green living, natural beauty & minimalism.