An excellent way to reduce your environmental impact is by reducing amount of waste you produce. More often than not, this will also mean making significant cost savings as well. The best way to do this is to simply reduce your consumption of stuff. Look to be purchasing products with a longer lifetime, and with less packaging. Appliances with the NZ government (EECA) blue energy star are more energy efficient, and will often pay for themselves over their lifetime. The next best way to reduce your waste is to reuse the stuff you’ve bought already. Leave cloth bags in your car so you don’t need plastic bags while shopping. Glass jars and plastic containers can all be reused to store food and other household items. Plastic bottles, cardboard and many other items have all sorts of uses about the home, particularly in the garden. Notice what you’re throwing away, and then have a look online for some of the ingenious ways they’ve been put to use. Finally, a lot of what’s left can be recycled. Food scraps make up a significant proportion of landfills, but a much better use would be fertilizing our gardens! If you don’t have a compost yourself, chances are one of your neighbours is a keen gardener who’d likely be more than happy to it. Much of our inorganic waste can be recycled too. Paper, cardboard, cans and plastics (with the 1-7 recycling triangle moulded into them) all go in your wheelie bin. Unbroken glass bottles and jars go in your black crate. Recycling is collected on the same day as rubbish collection for your area, but please make sure all items are clean first! You can also come down to the Ferguson Street Recycling Centre, just past the Albert St intersection, and drop off your recyclable items in person.