Reducing your waste and reusing or repairing items is a great way to lessen your impact on the environment and your wallet. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.


Reduce your food waste

4.5 million tonnes of food are wasted from UK homes every year. Visit our food waste webpage for tips on reducing food waste.

Avoid “single use”

Be prepared and plan ahead to avoid “single use” items. For example, pack a tote when heading to the shops, or a travel mug when meeting friends in a café. There are many alternatives available for plastic bags, coffee cups, water bottles, straws, face coverings, razors, single use batteries, paper kitchen towel, cling film, wet wipes and so much more.

Stop “junk mail”

Reduce the amount of unsolicited post through your letterbox to help save trees.  You can:

Go paperless

If you still get paper bills and bank statements, go paperless instead. Some companies offer discounts to customers that opt for paperless billing.

Avoid packaging

Some items are available to buy without any packaging. From fruit and veg to toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, look or ask for package-free alternatives. Some shops in Portsmouth sell package-free groceries as well as container re-fills.


Embrace “pre-loved” items

Save the planet’s resources, stretch your budget, and support local businesses and charities by giving “pre-loved” items a new home.

You can find pre-loved items in:

  • Charity shops
  • Vintage shops
  • Car boot sales
  • Online marketplaces
  • Freecycling pages (where items are given away)


Reduce your impact on the planet by:

  • Repairing clothes
  • Passing clothing on when no longer needed
  • Buying second hand

Find more tips and information on the Love Your Clothes website.


There are many opportunities locally to find second hand (or upcycled) furniture. Portsmouth has many local charities accepting donations of furniture in good condition, many of which offer free collections, such as:

Consider washable nappies

Babies typically need their nappy changing over 4,000 times in 2.5 years. Consider washable nappies as an option that’s kinder to the planet than disposable nappies, which is a burden on your wallet and on the planet. Modern washable nappies are easier to use and more efficient than they used to be.

Portsmouth residents can get a 15% discount on new washable nappies and accessories in a new scheme launched in September 2022. We have partnered with Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, and a few online nappy retailers to help residents make eco-friendly choices that’s good for your wallet, too. Visit Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living webpage to get your discount code.

Re-use parcel packaging

There are many ways to re-use parcel packaging:

  • Build up your packaging stash by keeping boxes and stuffing from online orders.
  • Check out packaging donation and swap groups on social media.
  • Ask retailers for their discarded packaging if you need large boxes.


Extend the life of your items instead of buying new. If you can’t repair your items yourself, why not check if the Repair Café can help? They have a Hub inside the Cascades shopping centre as well as pop-up events in Portsmouth.

Southsea Sustainable Textiles is a group of volunteers who run free sessions to give people the skills and confidence to repair, adjust and re-design their curtains, clothes, towels, hats, bags and more. Email the team for more information on the sessions: