Almost Zero Waste - Cate Cody Provides Waste Reduction Inspiration

17 July 2018

Cate Cody has built a reputation both across Gloucestershire and beyond as someone who can not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk when it comes to reducing waste. At first the thought of only putting a landfill bin out once every 2 years might sound impossible, but as Cate talks through a series of products and ideas it becomes clear that it is possible to make the changes needed to approach zero waste.

Cate Cody's landfill bin

Her key point is essentially asking yourself before each purchase where will this item end up and then is it worth having? She aims to be a "poor consumer" and uses techniques like cycling to the shops to force the volume of waste purchased to be a practical problem rather than only an ethical issue.

A strong knowledge of sourcing, recycling and reusing items allows Cate to reduce her impact. Her examples include buying as part of co-operatives and local swapping of kitchen waste for composting. Cate makes the point that just recycling everything isn't the ideal and that she has managed to reduce her recycling volumes as well as landfill waste.

Mini landfill bin

The examples keep coming through out the talk: baking your own bread, refilling bottles, wrapping presents in cloth, making your own toothpaste and requesting no junk mail. The details of many of these approaches can be found on her website where her latest blog post is on the wonderfully topical "Thirty-seven things you can do to be plastic-free".

Cate makes the point repeatedly that lobbying both locally and nationwide stores really makes a difference. The more feedback they get the greater the chance of permanent change, including praise when they do something right. If you have a good local shop that helps you reduce waste then "Use it, don't Lose it".

An engaged audience asked questions and shared their own suggestions including shampoo bars and pet food companies with paper bags.

audience questions

Many thanks to Cate for delivering her presentation and to DeepSpaceWorks for being a wonderful venue.

Also thank you to everyone who came along to share their questions and ideas on reducing waste.

audience questions