Ways to be less wasteful around the home

Olio updates 5 min read

In an era where sustainability is not just a buzzword, but a necessity, we’re looking for impactful ways to align our daily routines with the health of our planet. Reducing waste has cascading benefits, from combating climate change to preserving natural resources, and it begins in the comfort of our homes. Becoming waste-free is an incremental process that combines awareness, technology, and resourcefulness. This blog is sponsored by Smart Meters as part of the Smart Living series, and here we’ll explore practical steps you can take to significantly reduce waste and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.

Waste less energy with smart meters

One of the most direct ways to cut waste is by managing home energy usage. Smart meters are at the forefront of this movement, empowering individuals to monitor and minimise their energy consumption. Here’s how minor changes can lead to major savings*:

  • Turn down your thermostat by 1°C and potentially save up to £105 a year.
  • Adjust your combi boiler flow temperature to 60°C to save as much as £70 annually.
  • Shorten your shower to 4 minutes for an additional saving of about £70 per year.
  • Swap out for energy-saving light bulbs and enjoy a saving of around £60 a year.
  • Turning appliances off standby mode can be a saver, tallying up to £55 a year.
  • Air dry clothes instead of tumble drying to pocket an extra £60 annually.
  • Midway point on thermostatic radiator valves might see savings of approximately £49 a year.
  • An energy-efficient shower head brings potential savings of £30 per year.
  • Window films can cut your bill by £32 yearly, and reflective radiator panels can add £25 to your savings.

Implementing these tips, powered by real-time feedback from your smart meter, not only reduces your bills but also your carbon footprint.

Waste less food

Food waste is an enormous contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s a major concern for our environment. When we throw away food, we waste all the resources that went into producing it, from the water and land to the fuel and labour. Not to mention, it’s like throwing away money. Here’s a few ways that you can help prevent food waste in your own home:

  • Check your pantry and fridge before you shop.
  • Make a detailed shopping list and stick to it and be realistic about the number of meals you’ll cook at home.
  • Understand sell-by and use-by dates. Most food is still safe to eat after these dates.
  • Store fruits and vegetables according to their needs. Some need a cool, dark place, like potatoes, while others are best stored on the counter, like tomatoes.
  • Use airtight containers to keep out moisture and air, which can speed up spoiling.
  • Keep an inventory of what’s in your fridge to avoid losing track of items in the back.
  • Get inventive with your leftovers: Could last night’s roast chicken be turned into a hearty soup? Or use those overripe bananas in smoothies or banana bread When it comes to cooking vegetables, cook the stalks and leaves, to make the most of your purchase.

Reduce plastic and packaging waste

Our planet is inundated with plastic and packaging waste. While the sight of overflowing landfills and plastic-choked oceans might seem insurmountable, the change begins with each of us. Here are just a few ways in which you can get started:

  • Keep a waste diary for a week, jotting down every piece of plastic and packaging you discard and then audit your shopping habits. Which items contribute most to your waste and could there be an alternative solution?
  • Bulk shopping reduces the need for individual packaging. Purchase items like grains, legumes, and snacks from bulk bins using your reusable containers or bags.
  • Look for package-free or resealable containers that can be repurposed, therefore reducing waste and costs. For instance, opting for loose fruits and vegetables or refillable bottles of household products.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle and insulated coffee mug to eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles and cups while on the go.
  • Switch to beeswax wraps or silicone lids for food storage instead of plastic wrap or aluminium foil.

Buy less and share more

Our final piece of advice revolves around changing consumption patterns. Resisting impulse buys, selecting durable goods, exploring second-hand markets, and sharing with your community can substantially cut down the waste we generate. Use apps like Olio that connect you with neighbours to share the things you no longer need, or borrow rarely used items like tools or party supplies.

Small changes, big impact

Every small adjustment in your daily life can add up to significant contributions to a cleaner, greener planet. Smart meters facilitate the conscious use of energy, which is an excellent starting point. Together, with mindful actions in how we shop, consume, and dispose of our goods, we can all work towards a more waste-free life.

Ready to take the next step towards Smart Living? Learn more about smart meters and how you can optimise your energy usage for a better tomorrow.

*Eligibility may vary. Consumer action required. Based on typical savings. Follow guidance for adjusting your boiler safely.

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