Waste not want not: Five ways to discard less

1: Go food shopping with a list, plan meals and use leftovers. Avoid two-for-one offers on perishable goods.

2: Declutter your wardrobe, giving to charity shops anything you haven’t worn for a few years. We tend to use only about 20 per cent of the clothes we have at any one time.

3: Empty your garage, loft or attic. People who store their things when moving house often discard most of what they kept in storage when they finally return to claim it.

4: Buy second-hand furniture or appliances when you can. Consider community tool sharing, and use sharing sites such as Tryilo and WeShare Dublin.

5: Give the gift of experience, such as vouchers for restaurants, concerts, walking tours, adventure activities – the list is almost endless.

Zero waste lifestyle

Do you buy stuff because you need it or just because you want it? Do you think about the amount of clothes, furniture, books and even food that you’ve accumulated? Do you regularly embark on enormous cleaning sprees to declutter your home? Questions like these are more common as initiatives to combat waste gain momentum – and living sparsely has even become fashionable in some circles.

This month three significant events – the launch of the Environmental Protection Agency’s food-waste charter, the beginning of an 18-month project in Cashel, Co Tipperary, to become a zero-waste community, and the visit of the zero-waste advocate Bea Johnson to Dublin – created an excitement around reducing waste that arguably hasn’t been seen here before.

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