I've always been a bit opposed to waste in any form, be it food, time or anything else and for the past year I've thought about and attempted to reduce our household waste as much as possible; composting, reusing, recycling and donating as much as I possibly can. For this year, however, I've decided to get a bit more serious about it, as previously my attempts have been somewhat half-hearted.
For example, I'm not sure how successful I was last year in reducing waste, mainly because I didn't have a benchmark to measure against, having never actually counted up how many bags of rubbish we throw out in a year.
This year, I'm attempting to reduce waste again, so I have decided that it's time I kept a record of our weekly waste, i.e. how many bags we throw out in any one week, be they refuse or recycling and to that end I've started a waste diary. As a consequence, from next year at least, I will definitely be able to tell if I've managed to reduced our waste or not, in a measurable way.
As we still have our refuse collected in black bin bags and recycling in green polythene bags, it is quite easy to keep a tally of our waste by noting down how many full or half bags we dispose of each week. In addition to keeping a note of how many bags, I'll be marking down next to each entry the reasons for the same, where obvious, so if I have a mass decluttering session one week, it is noted down, or if there is lots of recycling due to birthday or Xmas wrapping or packaging from a specific delivery, then this is noted down too. This should help me to see where and when we tend to build up the most waste and work on those times and situations in order to reduce it.
I'd like to get our general refuse down to half a black bag each week if possible, and although I know I won't be able to achieve this every week, it will be interesting to see just how many weeks in the year that I do reach this target. Small, but important steps towards my yearly goal.