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How do I create less waste?

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By reducing the amount of waste we produce, we can protect the earth's natural resources for longer. Here are some handy tips to reduce your family's waste.

  • Buy products with less packaging, such as loose fruit and vegetables, rather than over packaged varieties, and choose products packaged in materials which are easier to recycle. In Copeland we can currently recycle cardboard and paper packaging, but not plastic film and food trays.
  • Buy in bulk, as this often reduces packaging, as well as cost.
  • Choose reusable items such as refillable pens, re-usable razors and "bags for life", rather than plastic carriers.
  • Use dishcloths instead of disposable wipes, and old clothes or other textiles as dusters.
  • Drink tap water rather than bottled water.
  • Try using re-usable nappies. There is currently a voucher scheme to help parents buy their first ones.  You can get details of the scheme by logging on to the Cumbria Real Nappy Campaign.
  • Save money and reduce waste by thinking about how much you need to buy at the supermarket, and making a list before you go. This can help you to make sure you don't buy too much, and end up having to throw food away because it has passed its use by date.
  • Store left over food and packed lunches in re-usable containers, instead of cling film or foil wrapping.
  • Use both sides of note paper, and whenever you can buy paper which is recycled.
  • You can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by contacting the Mail Preference Service.  Their telephone number is 0845 703 4599, or alternatively write to: DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS, and have your name removed from most mailing lists in the country.
  • Contact your favorite charities to see if they will recycle your old mobile phones and used printer ink cartridges.  Several charities now run such re-use and recycling schemes.
  • Use a home compost bin for your fruit, vegetable and garden waste, and use the compost on your garden, rather than having to buy peat based compost, which depletes natural resources.
  • Pass unwanted books, toys and clothes to friends and family, or give them to nurseries or charity shops.  Textiles can also be recycled at many of our recycling sites, if they cannot be re-used by people that you know.

    Booklets on how to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are available Free of Charge by contacting the councils Helpline on 01946 598300, or write to our e-mail address at

  • Find out about our recycling sites here.
  • Visit the Recycling For Cumbria website for more information on recycling.
Published: 18 February 2013 - 12:28pm

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