11/03/2019

LOW WASTE KONMARI

With the rising popularity of Marie Kondo and her minimalist wisdom, we’re all rather keen on ridding ourselves of clutter that weighs us down, and living more streamlined, sustainable lives. The urge to overhaul our entire lifestyle is pretty strong. Trust me, I know the struggle. 90% of my worldly goods are locked away in a storage unit and I cannot wait to get my Marie-inspired-mitts on it all. All of this decluttering and minimal living brings about another problem. How do we dispose of all that junk without being wasteful? What’s the point in moving towards a more sustainable life if you’re getting started by adding to a landfill? It can be done, and here are some tips on how to minimalise your possessions and your environmental impact.


Clothes & Textiles

Recycling seems like an obvious choice for those pants your thighs have ripped through or that over-worn pair of knickers you really should have let go of many years ago, but it’s all too easy to forget when you’re sorting your home waste. You can find textile recycling bins at your local tip, and often in even more accessible places. You can find your nearest textile bin on Love Your Clothes and wave goodbye to those tatty old leggings!

With the rise of apps like Depop, and the sheer joy of winning a bidding war on eBay, it’s now incredibly simple to sell your unloved garments. Send your regrettable purchases to a new home and earn some extra cash in the process. What’s not to love?

Whenever I purge my wardrobe, I donate everything I can. I only ever dispose of clothes if they’re torn, stained, or intimates. Everything else gets stuffed in a bag and hauled to my local charity shop. This way, I know they’re available for purchase at a price accessible to someone less privileged, and the money will go towards a charity. You could also take your clothing, bedding, and blankets to a local shelter for homeless people or find a community project that takes warm clothes to rough sleepers.

Even if it’s damaged, it still has a use! A small stain doesn’t render the rest of the material destroyed. Deconstruct it! Cut out the best panels of textile, remove the buttons and zips, and see what can be done with it all. There’s a place in a school dress up box for that old sheet and a home in a textiles lesson for what’s left of that dress you spilled ketchup on. Remember, dogs don’t care if that blanket has a coffee stain on, and most animal shelters need all the help they can get!

With a little creativity, upcycling opens a whole world of possibilities. I’m no sewing expert, but there are so many simple ways to give old garments a new life. When my thighs eat through jeans, I always just chop them into shorts. All you need is a pencil and some scissors. The latest trend for distressed clothing is your friend! A tiny rip in your jeans or a shirt is no longer the end – rip it more, add some pins or patches, and it’ll look even cooler than it started. Even if it really isn’t wearable anymore, you can still repurpose. Stuff your old, irredeemable clothing into an old pillowcase, sew it up and voila! A cushion for a lonely cat in a shelter.

With a little thought, the possibilities for your old textiles really are endless.

Bathroom & Beauty

It seems like all that can be done with somewhat-used and unloved makeup is to throw it in the bin. It’s unhygienic and wrapped in plastic so surely nothing can be done with it? Wrong! Websites like Glambot will purchase your used makeup from you, so you can make cash and avoid waste.

If you’ve found yourself with a pile of bath products, skincare, or haircare you’ll never use, then take them to a local foodbank or shelter for homeless people. Please keep in mind that people in refuges and shelters, and people who use foodbanks, still want nice things. Don’t feel like you can only donate ‘practical’ items – most places will gladly take those bath-bubbles or makeup, and some places like Give and Makeup will accept donations of lightly used items too.

Many animal rehabilitation centres also take cleaned mascara wands for cleaning fly and larvae eggs out of animals’ fur, including The New Arc in Scotland. Less plastic waste and helping to rescue animals makes this a winning plan in my eyes!

Homeware

We accumulate so much stuff when we’re making a home, and so much of it is unnecessary or ends up being discarded due to boredom. When giving your living space a purge, one of the most obvious things we can do is sell or give the items away. With apps like Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and Preloved, it’s never been easier to have someone collect your things and make some money in the process.

A great alternative to this is to trade your goods using apps like Bunz, which aims to bring communities together to reduce waste by trading items and services. This is such a helpful idea, wonderful for if you have something in good condition to give away but need something else replacing.

 Recycling, donating, and repurposing are all excellent options too. A shelving unit or cupboard can be made into a magnificent custom pet enclosure with a little effort. Unused jars can easily become adorable plant pots. Someone might need your ugly old lidless tupperware to store art supplies or pet food. With a little thought, anything can be repurposed or rehomed.

Books

I know so many of you are aghast at the thought of parting with some of your books, but if you’re never going to read them again and they’re gathering dust, wouldn’t you rather they were loved? Unfortunately, in today’s world, schools and libraries are desperate for books, so your donations will be very much appreciated. Foodbanks often take donations of budget-friendly cookbooks to help families make their resources go further. Everyone loves books, and the ones you really don’t need will be much better used elsewhere.

Food & General Waste

When it comes to our general waste, we know how to divide it up between the provided bins to ensure as much gets recycled as possible. What do we do with the non-biodegradable waste? Make an Ecobrick, of course! Simply stuff your non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste into a plastic bottle, then keep stuffing, and stuffing, and stuffing until it’s as dense as possible. Then check the website for a local community project making use of them and drop them off.

When it comes to that much needed kitchen cupboard clear-out, it’s simple. If it’s in date, give it to a foodbank or use it to feed local wildlife if it’s an animal-safe food. If it’s looking a little dodgy, start a compost heap! You really don’t need that hideously out of date jar of coffee, do you?

Go forth and minimalise to your heart’s content!

  

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2 comments:

  1. amazing ideas! these are all very helpful and should be implemented into everyone's routines!

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  2. I love this blog post darling, you've shared some really fab idea's! ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’œ

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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