Reduce your rubbish

Household waste seems to be a never ending problem. Simone Pickrell - an entrepreneur from Reading - explains how she reduces her rubbish.

I don’t think of myself as an activist, but I’m quite socially minded, and I’ve become greener over the years. Two years ago I went on the Berkshire Common Purpose Matrix Programme, and after the training did a presentation on waste minimisation with another delegate. That sparked off a business idea offering practical, realistic ways to minimise waste – Choose the Alternative.

Bringing less rubbish in to your life in the first place doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it’s amazing how many people didn’t realise the range of what can be recycled: from spectacles, printer cartridges and mobile phones to green waste from the garden. Their minds just hadn’t focused on it, even though they might well have complained about the rubbish that ends up on beaches, such as tampons, cotton buds and condoms.

Over the past two years my business/life partner Andrew and I have stopped plastic coming into the house. We have a wormery and compost bin so we compost as much we can – all vegetable matter and shredded paper. We put all the dog waste from our two dogs into a dog loo, which I bought in a local pet store, but are also sold in garden centres.

Andrew and I are now looking to source paper-stick cotton buds and sell them through our business, along with loofah kitchen scrubbies which can be composted when they are worn out and last far longer than those pink sponges.

Top tips on our Campaign pages for cutting rubbish out of your life >

This is an extract from Save cash & save the planet.