Reducing the amount of stuff we buy and throw away can significantly reduce our carbon emissions by reducing our consumption of resources. Avoiding buying everything as new means avoiding the carbon emission associated with producing and transporting new goods. It also means old items can find new homes and be loved again.
Much of our waste still goes to landfill, clogging up the land, and at worst contaminating local soils and water supplies. Food waste that ends up in landfill can also undergo anaerobic decomposition resulting in the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Recycling food waste in council organic box recycling schemes avoids this and means that the food waste can be reused, either as compost or in biomass power generation schemes.
Most charity stores will be happy to take item that are no longer needed, such as clothes, books, music, and DVDs. Others like the British Heart Foundation take on furniture and electrical appliances.
If you cannot get to a charity store, organisations like Freecycle provide other ways for recycling unwanted items.
If you are not sure what to do with your old stuff, get creative and upcycle it into something new.