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Zero Waste Tips

Sustainable Living

The Goal of Zero Waste is to have a circular economy where there is no such thing as rubbish so that we are copying nature. There is no rubbish in nature. So instead of disposing of resources, we create a system where all resources can be put to use in one capacity or another.

Birdhill Zero Waste Tips:

Tip 1. Buying Less is the Number 1 thing you can do in order to have less waste. Ask yourself 4 questions before purchasing:
a. Do I really need it?
b. Is it absolutely necessary?
c. Can I make do with something I already have?
d. Do I need to own it? Could I rent or borrow it?

Tip 2. Buy with Thought. Before buying, ask yourself?
a. Can I find it second hand?
b. Can I source it locally?
c. Could I borrow it from a friend?
d. Is it made to last and can it be repaired?
e. When finished with it, what can I do with it?

Tip 3. Refuse disposable straws every time you order a drink. FACT: Plastic straws cannot be recycled & take up to 200 years to decompose!

Tip 4. Give up bottled water and use a stainless steel one. There is one on the market designed in Ireland.
FACT: It takes 3 litres of water to manufacture a 1 litre bottle of water!

Tip 5. Use a reusable coffee/tea mug/cup rather than countless disposable ones for your caffeine fixes. Many outlets are offering discounts when you do so.
FACT: In Ireland, it is estimated that we dispose of over 200 million of theses disposable every year!

Tip 6. Aim to purchase the large cardboard version of detergents rather than the plastic pods or tablets in plastic packaging. The cardboard box can be recycled.

Tip 7. Pour unused liquids into containers with lids instead of covering a pouring spout with cling film.

Tip 8. Place sandwiches in lunchboxes instead of wrapping with cling film

Tip 9. Use glass or ceramic containers to heat food in the oven or microwave and cover with a plate or dish (rather than cling film) if necessary. FACT: Cling film should not touch food while reheating as chemicals may leach.

Tip 10. Replace plastic cling film with glass or reusable containers with lids. An alternative to cling film is a saucer or a lid. FACT: Cling film cannot be recycled.

Tipp 11. Use a cake tin for storing sweet treats instead of covering with cling film.

Tip 12. Zero Waste Cold Remedy: Ginger Root Tea - slice it, boil in water for 5 minutes and drink it up. You can reboil it or serve it from the fridge with no problem.
FACT: Ginger root has high levels of Vitamin C.

Tip 13. Zero Waste Cold Remedy: Immunity Tea - 1 tblsp chopped ginger, juice of a lemon, shake of cayenne pepper and hot water.
FACT: A key ingredient of cayenne pepper is capsaicin which helps relieve congestion.

Tip 14: Blowing your nose with a cloth hanky rather than a disposable tissue is so soft for your nose and prevents a red, chaffed nose. However, if you are suffering from a cold or flu, tissues are the better option in terms of hygiene and spreading the cold/flu virus.

Tip 15: Elderberry Syrup to boost the immune system. Elderberries are freely available on our hedgerows in September. All you need to add is water, raw honey, cloves, root ginger and cinnamon. Holds well in sterilised glass bottles.

Tip 16: Think of using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. FACT: Most tea bags are sealed with plastic.

Tip 17: Reusable bags can be used for more than food shopping - clothes, DIY, garden centre etc. Train yourself to keep large reusable bags in the car, small foldable ones in your pocket or bag. FACT: You will always be prepared!

Tip 18: Stop Unwanted Post
Put a sticker on your letterbox 'No Junk Mail' or contact Irish Direct Marketing Assocaition ( and request to be added to their Mail Preference Service in order to have your name removed from direct mailing lists.
FACT: A study in Ireland found some householders receive 4kg/almost 9 lbs of junk mail annually.

Tip 19: Use a reusable silicone mat for lining bakeware when cooking at high temperatures instead of parchment paper.
FACT: Easy to clean, makes surface non stick and less browning.

Tip 20: Think about changing to a bamboo toothbrush. FACT: If you change your toothbrush every 3 months, then within 10 years you will have sent 40 plastic toothbrushes to landfill.

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