Did you know? 25% of foods purchased by homeowners in Malta end up wasted and thrown away. The same figures also show that discarded food makes up more than 50% of domestic waste.
According to a paper published by Daniel Vella, the most common reasons why food gets wasted in Maltese households, include: ‘too much food is cooked’, ‘leftovers are not re-used or eaten’, and ‘food in the freezer or fridge goes off (or left for too long).
The implementation of organics bags has definitely helped us put our waste to good use, but it still remains our responsibility to reduce how much we consume and use what we have more wisely – it helps both us and the community we form part of.
Consider making your own household cleaners and detergents
Many of the containers used for cleaners and detergents aren’t recyclable, so they end up going in the garbage. Making your own detergents and storing them in glass containers will end up saving tons of money and significantly reduce your garbage output. It’s also very easy to do and just as effective!
It also keeps your house healthy – in-store bought detergents have a lot of chemicals that pollute the house and create an unhealthy environment!
Share with neighbours!
Have leftover paint? Check with neighbours, family or friends to see whether they need it before disposing of it. Rent or borrow tools which you don’t frequently use such as ladders and garden tools.
You can even group up with neighbours and create a Facebook group for your street – that way, whoever has extra stuff others can use, can’t store some items, or needs to borrow something, can just post on your group! 🙂
Use papers and envelopes as scrap paper
Make sure you go through all of them for your shopping lists and to-dos before tossing them away.
Clean out your wardrobe
It’s a truth, not universally acknowledged, that a chunk of the clothes in our wardrobes end up disused and left to wither for a very, very long time. Also, you will often hear yourself going ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ in-front of a wardrobe that’s about to burst with clothes.
Take a quick look at our guide on how to properly organise your wardrobe and reduce the space you use!
If you have old clothing or accessories you don’t want but are still in decent shape, donate them instead of throwing them out in the trash. Better they end up in someone’s closet than the landfill. Likewise, sell or give away unwanted items to a thrift shop, local charity or second-hand clothes shop. Some examples: Paws Malta, The Charity Shop (9 Triq Tal Mensija, San Gwann), and Inspire Charity Shops.
Google will guide you to a number of charity shops and thrift stores!
Donate electronics and items
It may no longer be the newest iPhone, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in the bin. Contact a local homeless shelter, thrift store, or donation centre to find out about donating furniture, electronics, cars, and any other items you’ve finished using.
Buy from local farmers
Pissed about the concrete squares replacing lush green fields? You CAN do something about it. Support local farmers by buying from farmer’s markets. They offer mounds of fresh produce that has never touched plastic and are likely to be fresher – you’re also helping your local economy, and that’s important! Bring along cloth bags to carry your purchases home.
TIP: A lot of farmers markets are held throughout the year in Malta! Good examples are the Birgu and Ta Qali Farmers Market, which happen every Tuesday and Saturday. Also, the Farmers & Crafters Markets at Villa Bologna is coming up, and it’s definitely worth visiting during the Christmass holidays!
Buy biodegradable bags
It’s very tempting to just use a plastic bag when it comes to storing our food or ingredients. Do a little look-around for local suppliers of biodegradable bags and buy in bulk for your household. You can even use that Facebook group we suggested you create to recommend this to your neighbours!
On this note, Veco is a local business that supplies and DELIVERS super-durable, reusable plastic bags made from recycled plastic!
Being that the bags were once plastic bottles – this automatically reduces plastic from landfills and oceans!
Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vitallyecologic/ or order the bags here.
P.S: House.mt is in no way affiliated with Veco – we just think they deserve a mention ;)!
Turn empty wine bottles into oil and vinegar dispensers
Tired of your ugly plastic store-bought soap, oil, or vinegar dispenser? Make a pretty glass one using a wine bottle. Take a look at this awesome guide to transforming your wine bottle into a beautifully designed dispenser! https://www.instructables.com/id/Turning-a-Wine-Bottle-into-an-Oil-Bottle/
Tip: Get your kids to do this and promise a reward!
Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
This one is pretty straightforward. One simple change in the kitchen can make a big difference in reducing waste and saving money: switching entirely to cloth instead of paper. Replace paper napkins, paper towels and other disposable products like cleaning wipes with cloth napkins, huck towels, or microfibre cloths.
One for the supermarkets: Malta should get a bulk section!
Buying food that comes in boxes wrapped in plastic with individually-wrapped serving sizes inside, you’re probably producing more waste than you want to. Look for ways to sell food with minimal packaging, especially plastic packaging. A bulk food section would allow a person to buy rice, beans, cereals, teas, spices, and other dry foods in large amounts.
On the side of the homeowners: Be a discerning consumer! Try to favour brands that use less plastic. It also helps supermarkets shift to more eco-friendly suppliers without losing their profits!
What do you think of these methods? Do you use any of them, or do you have your own? Tell us about them.
Feel like we missed something important? Call us out on it! Write your tip or idea in a comment, we may add it to the article!