f you’ve been thinking about going ‘zero-waste’ you might be worried about the impact on your time, and how possible it really is.  This guide is designed to help make it easier for you to do just that, without making it a stress.


We all know that we need to make less waste.  The average UK household creates about 1 tonne of waste per year.  According to a report by CB Environmental, this equals a pile that would fill the Albert Hall every two hours.

And despite attempts to curb waste, this amount is going UP about 3% a year.   We throw away six trees worth of paper, and whilst two thirds of this is recycled lots can’t be. The average house wastes around £400 on food and up to 80% of our waste could be composted or recycled but only about 20% of it is.

So how do we make a change, without making endless work for ourselves?

  1.       NO JUNK MAIL:

The shiny paper that junk mail comes on is often the kind that can’t be recycled.  One of Bea Johnson (a top ‘ZERO WASTE’ expert) top tips is to refuse it https://www.mpsonline.org.uk//. If this isn’t respected, you can easily make a complaint to get it stopped.

  1.       GO DIGITAL:

Those plastic faced envelopes that let you see the address are usually not recyclable.  Make everything that you can, from statements, to catalogues and handouts at courses digitised. 

The author of the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo also advocates this as a way of reducing clutter in your home and feeling more ‘energised’ in your life – win win!

We love an old school book here, but it is more environmentally friendly to put them on a Kindle, and you can subscribe to magazines through apps like readly.com, usually for much less money than the magazines themselves cost.

  1.       REUSE:

Don’t get plastic bags – use shopping bags and take your own pots or buy loose produce wherever possible to cut down on plastic wastage. 

You can ditch on wipes, both for the home and your face and personal care, by simply making your own or using reusables.


Re-useable menstrual products not only offer environmental benefits, they are healthier for the body as they’re less chemical and not filled with fragrances which are harmful both for the delicate skin of the vagina, and for the women who feel they need them out of a sense of ‘shame’.


Absolutely know the rules about recycling for your area, but consider do you absolutely have to throw the thing away? Could packaging be reused for crafts/growing seeds? Old newspapers are great for lining old boots and as portable puppy pads.  Veg can often be regrown from scraps. 

There are so many ways to encourage reusing, and many online communities to make it easier. 

  1.       DITCH THE FIZZ

Whilst most aluminium cans can be recycled, we go through huge amounts of them – tonnes every year.  The contents are rarely as healthy as fresh alternatives and whilst the occasional treat drink is ok, by choosing fresh you choose less waste; and never buy single use bottles, always take drinks with you.

replant trees

At Acala, we are carbon negative, and by the end of 2021, should have offset 166m tonnes of carbon, more than three times what we create. However, this isn’t enough.

We need to do more to ensure we are truly sustainable.  We also create our own plastic free products and offer naked packaging to avoid waste.

We have a goal to have zero single use plastics in operation by 2022. We use renewable energy sources to power the office and whilst we do have to buy in bulk on occasion, we always ship by sea or train, to avoid the huge emissions of flight.

Read more about our zero waste policy here  

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