Did you know that in the past 20 years our population has grown by 28 percent, but the amount of waste we produce has increased 170 per cent? (Statistic from the ABC).
I was shocked to hear this and more in the ABC’s three-part series War on Waste. You can watch it on iView, and I highly recommend you do!
After watching I made some significant changes in my house to try and reduce the amount of waste we throw out. I’d like to inspire you to do the same, so I thought I’d bring you a post with lots of tips and tricks for reducing your household’s waste too. Make sure you let me know on Instagram if you’ve implemented any of these ideas.
Stop buying single-use plastic
Buy yourself a metal or glass water bottle and refill it rather than buying another bottle of water. Say no to plastic bags at the checkout. Avoid plastic cutlery and straws. Use a reusable coffee cup to get your caffeine hit.
Visit a bulk foods store
Instead of buying your pantry staples at the regular supermarket, take your own reused glass containers to the bulk food store. You’ll find the basics like flour and salt, amongst delicious dried fruits, dairy free chocolates as well as herbs and spices.
Buy a market basket
I’ve already said this, but it’s so important to stop using plastic grocery bags. You might be using ‘green’ or ‘enviro’ bags, which is great, but I’d advise you to avoid buying more. Did you know you’d need to use your ‘green’ bag at least 50 times to earn its environmental benefit? Instead, pick yourself up a sustainably made market basket for your trips to the shops, the market and anywhere else you’d typically use plastic bags. Plus they look super cute!
Put up a ‘no junk mail’ sign and cancel your newspaper and magazine subscriptions
I bet you throw junk mail straight into the bin right? Stop receiving by popping up a little sign on your post box. Instead of receiving hard copies of your favourite newspaper and mags, sign up for online e-subscriptions to save the paper.
Quit your addiction to ‘fast’
Whether it’s food or fashion, it’s time to say goodbye to our addiction to ‘fast’. Did you know that fast fashion is now the number one pollutant on the planet?! So those ‘bargains’ or things you grab on sale only to wear a couple of times are contributing to a huge amount of waste. I prefer both my food and my fashion made slowly, with care, a focus on quality and, of course, with love!
Stop buying plastic bottles of cleaning products
Make safe and effective cleaning products yourself with things like white vinegar, bicarbonate soda and essential oils. It will save you money, lighten the chemical load and reduce waste. Win, win, win.
Sort your waste into general waste, recyclables, soft plastic and compost
Have four three bins that are easy for you to get to (let’s be honest, if they’re not close by we won’t use them!) and label them clearly. Carefully consider your waste and make sure you’re putting it in the right bin.
Soft plastic (shopping bags) can be recycled on the Gold Coast but only at the supermarket. Tip: Although Woolworths has a recycling bin for soft plastic, they don’t actually recycle it! Make the trip to Coles instead. Remember not to put your soft plastics into your yellow lid bin. Check out the GCCC recycling guidelines if you’re not sure what can go in this bin.
There are so many other ways we can reduce our waste and lighten the footprint we are leaving on Mama Earth. This is just a start, and I hope you’re inspired enough to implement some of my ideas and to also seek out more!