Do we really, really want to buy it? Gadgets etc

Before ANY purchase, I think very carefully about what I bring home, therefore I barely have any landfill and the recycle bin only goes out every eight weeks or so.

Most people have far too many possessions and I'm no exception to this, but I'm trying to reduce them rather than add to them.

As we have so little waste, we can assess what it is and try to come up with suitable alternatives, thereby reducing it further.  We don't buy many new things, preferring to support recycling through charity shops, Freecycle and car boot sales, although we often come home from these with nothing as we try not to buy unnecessarily.  Of course these methods of 'shopping' tend to have no packaging either. Coming home empty-handed can feel so much better than the slight guilt you sometimes feel when you know you shouldn't really have spent that money...

Many people buy compulsively - people tend not to have 'new BBQ' or 'useful gadget that will only get used twice' on their shopping lists.  Big tip: Avoid the 'specials' 'homeware' and/or 'seasonal' sections, then you won't even see what you didn't need!

Gadget wise, the only things we have in the kitchen are a kettle, a toaster and an electric hand blender - this last one is brilliant and gets used daily - I make smoothies, soups, houmous, sauces, purées etc etc.  There may be an iron lurking somewhere, but I'd have to ask John where it is as I never use it.

We don't have that many pots and pans either, although what we do have is really good quality and therefore copes with being used all of the time.

This applies to clothes too, have fewer clothes, but well made, beautiful clothes that you love to wear, and wear them!  Don't save them for those special occasions that rarely occur.

The William Morris quote is worth remembering: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Books are an interesting one as well. We both love to read and used to own hundreds of books between us.  Now we use the library - there's something wonderful about ordering a book and then waiting for it to arrive.  It's a cycle ride or a walk into town to collect it too.

Having a list seems to work for us.  If we really do need something, we write it down and then start tolook out for something suitable.  Like the library, it's much more satisfying waiting for the right thing to come along rather than pandering to the instant gratification god.

At end of use...We have a small lidded box outside in which we store dead light bulbs, small electricals that are beyond repair, scrap metal etc. This goes to the recycling centre once it's full, probably once a year. We compost at home and avoid products with non recyclable packaging.

Our only bin is in the kitchen - it's 22cm high, 19cm diameter and takes weeks to fill, therefore landfill wheelie bin goes out ONCE every TWO years.