View of Mont Blanc in autumn

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle… Repeat!

Every journey begins with a first step. The route to a Zero Waste lifestyle is no different. Put simply, we want to encourage every single person in our community to make the changes that they can…collectively we can achieve amazing results.

It can be hard to know where to start. Here are just a few ideas of ways to begin reducing your waste. And if you have questions, you can always contact us at and we’ll do our best to help.

01 - Reduce

Our top tips for reducing food waste


First-up, if you have a garden, get a composter! You will be amazed just how big a difference this will make to the size of your black bin bag waste. If you don’t have space for your own composter, then communal ones are available. SITOM has a wealth of information about what and where to compost here.


Secondly, a huge amount of waste comes from over shopping and food going off. So, spend a little time examining the contents of the fridge before you shop and put apps like Supercook and Bigoven to use to find recipes for what’s already there.


Thirdly, get to grips with food packing info. Estimates suggest up to 10% of food waste is linked to lack of understanding about the difference between “Use By” and “Best By”.

  • Use by is about food safety – it can be eaten up to the end of that date, but not after it.
  • Best by is about food quality – take your own view, it can be eaten past that date but may no longer be at its best


Lastly, if you do find yourself with surplus on your hands then put a shout out on Facebook groups like Cham Food Share and Chamonix freetoagoodhome as others will be able to put it to good use.

Become a savvy shopper


It’s becoming ever easier to buy staple items loose at local supermarkets so you can simply refill containers time and time again. Keep in mind too, that the majority of the local supermarkets will also accept your containers for items like cheese, meat and fish. So, take those with you when you shop.

Pick your products by package. Glass and metal are pretty much infinitely recyclable, whereas plastic is not! Where there is a choice, always choose glass or metal containers when shopping, and recycle them when they’re empty.

View the clothes you buy as an investment. So, buy the things you love and wear them for years! 

Live life locally is another great way to reduce waste – both directly and indirectly – so where you can, buy locally made or grown produce.

02 - Reuse

Clothes, shoes and sports materials often have life left in them once we are ‘done’ with them and there are no shortage of groups like Chamonix Buy and Sell and Chamonix Petites Annonces where you can pass things on.


Alternatively, clothes swaps amongst your friends are a great idea too.  We are only human and sometimes our need is just for a change, and “new to you” is often as good as new.

Make an effort to buy things in containers you can reuse or re-purpose: large glass jars make excellent storage containers!

Say goodbye plastic-filled cleaning products by turning old sheets and towels into cleaning clothes – we even have a recipe for turning old socks into Tawashi cleaning sponges. It’s super simple.

03 - Recycle

Recycle everything you can! The list of things that can be recycled in the large bins (Moloks) located all over the valley is here

It’s also possible to recycle most everything else somewhere in or near the valley:


  • Corks and plastic bottle tops – Carrefour in Chamonix and Super U in Les Houches have a place for these.
  • Light bulbs and batteries – both Carrefour and Super U have recycling spaces for these too.



The local déchèteries are deposit points for the recycling of everything from vegetable oil to old tyres, and from broken electrical goods to garden waste. You can find out more here.

04 - Repeat!

We believe in sustainable change: so don’t feel you have to do everything at once. Building different habits is often best done one step at a time rather than taking on too much and struggling.


So, pick your first project and then add to it as you go. Once you start thinking about waste, there’s a good chance you’ll keep think of new things to try, so keep reducing, reusing and recycling whenever possible!