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Reducing waste, how to make a difference!

Sustainability Month 2021

Click here for a list of all the other exciting events taking place daily.

This month is Sustainability Month, a time where you can reflect on your own impact on the environment. As an undergraduate at King’s, I decided to attend an event called the “Zero-Waste Workshop”. By writing about what I learnt, I hope to help you reduce your waste! Josh Pullen, the Waste to Resources Project Officer in the King’s Sustainability Team and leader of the event, started by talking about small and easy things you can implement at home to reduce your waste, and then went on to elaborate on some of the work that the Sustainability Team has been doing.

 

The problem with waste is that it is present everywhere. Often without realising it, we produce waste every day. The issue is magnified by the current situation, which has forced us to work from home. Household waste output has increased, as more people cook from home, for instance. The solution isn’t easy - it involves rethinking your way of consumption and changing your habits. However, the good news is that you can start implementing small elements to your lifestyle that take little effort but, cumulated, can have a significant impact!

 

A huge source of waste is found in essentials, things you use every day without thinking about it. Take soap for instance: while one bottle of soap may not have many repercussions, if you sum up all the plastic bottles of soap you have used in a year, you quickly realise the impact changing to using bar soap can have. The same can be said with razors: instead of plowing through countless disposable razors, try switching to an electric razor (you’ll also save money in the long run!). Finally, coffee pods are becoming a true problem. They are very hard to recycle, as they are made of a combination of plastic and aluminum. It is better to use alternatives like ground coffee instead.

 

Another way to reduce your waste output is to change your shopping habits. Try going to sustainable or zero-waste shops. You can also buy and reuse your own jars or mesh bags, instead of picking your fruits and veggies with the plastic bags usually available. There are a thousand different things you can do, so feel free to look at sustainability websites and YouTube channels for inspiration!      

 

The Sustainability team at King’s has a Project Fund through which they have funded over 30 initiatives. These projects, such as introducing a 20p levy on disposable coffee cups or a King’s community garden at Guy’s Campus, help shape the students’ habits and push for a more sustainable environment. The projects can also take the form of interventions: pushing for less waste in residences by offering “re-use kits” with re-usable items or putting up posters to raise awareness, for example.

 

This event helped me reflect on my own consumption and the ways in which I produce waste on a daily basis. Hopefully, through this short post, I have given you ideas on how to change your habits so that they are more in line with the future we want to see. Needless to say, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other ways you can reduce your waste, such as starting a compost or bulk buying. Besides, simply being aware of your impact is already a big step.

 

This event was part of Sustainability Month, and there are many other events that you can attend! Click here for a list of all the other exciting events taking place daily.