1. Stop Junk Mail
Putting a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on your door will help reduce unaddressed ads from local businesses, such as take-away menus, calling cards from taxi companies, and leaflets from estate agents. If you're not interested in free newspapers you can stop them as well by putting up a sticker that reads 'No Free Newspapers'.
Letterbox signs won't stop leaflets being delivered by the postman though. If you also want to stop unaddressed mail being delivered by Royal Mail, you need to opt out of their door-to-door service.
Be aware though - Royal Mail only deliver small numbers of unaddressed mail, so opting out of this service won't cover other distributors. If you want to stop all unwanted mail, check out the Mail Preference Service.
2. Think before you shop
There are loads of little things you can do, that over time will massively reduce the amount of waste you produce. An easy one is to always keep a reusable shopper or tote bag on you, so that when you pop into the shops for bits and bobs, you won't be caught empty handed (and can save yourself 5p!) If you have a car, keep some in the boot, then you'll be covered for your big shops too.
When you have the option to, buy something that will last longer, rather than something disposable or single-use. Re-chargeable batteries are cheaper than disposable ones for example and can be used over and over. Think about investing in a re-usable water bottle - most pay for themselves after only a few refills. Even if you're only having one bottle of water a day, over a year that's 365 plastic bottles and a fair few quid. Likewise, a reusable coffee cup is a great investment to make and a few chains have started offering money off drinks if you bring your own cup, which is a bonus.
You can also avoid disposable cutlery. If you're at work, keep some cutlery in your desk or locker if possible and if you're on the go, keep a set in your bag - there is nothing worse than buying a salad and realising you have nothing to eat it with!
In general, try and buy products which don't have too much packaging. It can be hard to do this - even fruit and veg tends to come wrapped in plastic in most supermarkets now, but if you get your greens from a market (and some small corner shops) you can get huge amounts of loose fruit & veg without any packaging!
3. Your rubbish is another person’s treasure!
Contact your local Furniture Re-use Network. They distribute unwanted furniture and household goods to those in need. You can also advertise your old furniture in your local paper or on websites likeFreecycleor Freegle. If you're having a clear out, you can donate your unwanted clothes, books and gifts to charity shops. Alternatively use clothing banks at your local recycling centre.
4. Avoid wasting food
Every year in the UK we throw away £12.5 billion worth of good food! This costs the average family almost £60 a month. One of the most wasted items is slices of bread - lots of people just can't get through their loaf fast enough and it ends up turning to mould. Simply stick it in the freezer and take a couple of slices out each time you want toast. It'll still make perfect toast and won't go off for ages.
Likewise, lots of fruit can go in the freezer, like all types of berry, grapes and bananas. Frozen grapes taste just like sherbert and are delicious, so we would recommend trying some if you haven't before. To find out many, many more useful tips on how to store food, tantalising recipes and advice on portioning and meal planning, visit Love Food Hate Waste.
You can donate leftover paint to your local charity. To find your nearest scheme visit Community Repaint.