A-Z of Eco: A for Audit

Welcome to The A to Z of going eco-friendly! I’ve set myself the challenge of coming up with a list of sustainability-related words that might help those of us getting started on the journey.

A is for Audit. Yes, I know, not the most exciting of words but this can be an important first step towards making any change. Whether it’s buying less, limiting your plastic or food waste or sending less stuff to landfill, an audit can help you work out where you are and where to start.

Start any audit by logging everything for a week (or longer if needs be). Be sure to mark every item you throw away, every bit of single-use plastic you bring in, every new thing you buy. What you do next will depend on your goals:

Plastic waste

Categorise all your plastic waste (milk bottles, meat containers, cleaning products, beauty products etc.) List how much you have of each & work out what you can swap or how you can limit the plastic. Go through one category at a time so you’re not overwhelmed.

Can you shop at the market & bring your own containers? Can you look for bar soaps or refillable products? Do you have a local milkman who can deliver your milk in bottles?


Categorise everything you are throwing away (food, tins, plastic, etc.) Ask yourself, are you recycling everything you can? What could you swap? What could you re-use? How much food do you buy & can you start planning your shops to reduce waste? Could you start a compost bin?

The idea is to get an idea of where you are right now. By auditing, you can work out your starting point before you dive in to make any changes. Being realistic about where you are will make you more likely to succeed.

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