By tackling our waste through reducing, reusing and recycling, we can all do our bit to help conserve natural resources, reduce the impacts of climate change and save money.

You can save hundreds of pounds and reduce your waste at the same time with the top tips below.

Love Food Hate Waste

What would you do with £720 a year? You can save as much as £60 per month by throwing away less food. For more information visit the Love Food Hate Waste website or download the app. 

The Love Food Hate Waste app will allow you to easily keep track of food planning, shopping, cooking meals and making the most of leftovers. It also has great recipe ideas and tips for using forgotten foods and leftovers to make great tasting meals.

There are lots of ideas in the Recycle Devon ‘Have Your Food And Eat It’ online recipe book which is available to download free. It provides tips and advice on making food go further, plus recipes, to help families reduce food waste and save money.  For further tips on reducing food waste have a look at Recycle Devon.

Ditch bottled water

According to plastic recycling charity Recoup Recycling, the UK uses 36 million plastic bottles every day. You already pay to have water available in your kitchen tap, so get a reusable bottle and start refilling. You can now refill your water bottle, for free, in locations that have signed up to the Refill Devon scheme, without needing to be a customer. You can even download an app to find your nearest Refill location.

Home composting

Composting is nature's way of recycling. It is a satisfying way to turn fruit, vegetable and garden trimmings into a dark, crumbly soil conditioner. Composting can:

  • Save you money by replacing shop-bought compost
  • Help your garden by improving the fertility of your soil
  • Save water by helping the soil hold moisture
  • Benefit the environment by recycling valuable organic resources and extending the life of our landfill sites

A variety of reduced home composting equipment is available for Torbay residents to purchase at Get Composting, just enter your postcode to view the available products.

More information about how to compost effectively at home is available from Recycle Devon.

Repairing, reusing and recycling

Instead of throwing away (even recycling) that broken item, why not have a go at mending it first? Find your nearest repair shop on the Reuse Directory or see if there is a repair cafe happening near you. You could even try to spruce up old furniture rather than throwing it out.

Advertise unwanted items on a site such as GumtreePrelovedFreegle and Freecycle.

Don’t throw it away, give it away! Support your local charity shop, or jumble sale, by donating unwanted clothing, household items and books.

Love your clothes

If you have items or clothes in need of repair, don’t throw them away! There are places all over Devon that could repair or reuse these items. 

If you need an item or some clothing for a one off occasion, consider renting rather than buying.

Take a look in a charity shop, grab yourself a bargain and cut down on waste at the same time.

Consider attending or even organising a clothes swap event where you can take your unwanted clothes and find yourself a new wardrobe!

Real nappies

Have you considered making the switch to reusable nappies rather than disposables? Not only could this save you a fantastic £500 a year but helps cut down on nappy waste.

Torbay Cloth Nappy Library offers a range of free cloth nappy trials for a refundable deposit of £20:

  • a newborn kit,
  • a general trial kit
  • a night time kit

Each kit comes with an information book.

Volunteers who themselves have extensive cloth nappy experience to share run all services.

During a four-week trial, you can expect support from your designated volunteer after one week and again after three; making sure you don't feel alone in changing to cloth nappies.

None of us is perfect, but remember that even swapping one disposable nappy to a cloth nappy each day, would equate to a saving of 365 disposable nappies a year.

You can Contact Torbay Cloth Nappy Library on Facebook or via email on

Small changes add up

There are lots of small changes that can help the environment and save you money:


Make the switch to silicone bakeware and the savings will add up. If you bake 24 cakes a week you could rack up savings of £12 per year by making the switch.

Kitchen roll

This often gets used for wiping kitchen worksurfaces as well as mopping up spills. If you normally use 2 rolls a week, by switching to microfiber cloths you could save up to £78 per year


Baby wipes, cleaning wipes, screen wipes, makeup wipes, glass wipes, we have wipes for everything, but the vast majority are made using plastic and will take over 100 years to biodegrade - during which time, they will have massively contributed to our climate crisis. You could swap make up wipes for an old fashioned flannel and use cloths on the floor and surfaces which can all be washed and reused. Best of all, it will save you money in the long-run too.


Each year we throw away approximately 600 million batteries. Rechargeable batteries mean your remote control and kid’s favourite toys will never be without power again and you will save money in the long term.


Joining Torbay Libraries is completely free and gives you access to an unlimited supply of books, e-books, magazines, music, information, events and resources. From children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business information, academic books and local history information, Torbay Libraries has a vast selection of resources available for all members.