5 ways to be waste free!
Tom and I have signed up for Feb Fast Aus pause for a cause this year in order to raise money to support disadvantaged youths. We will be giving up all waste aiming for a waste free household for the month of February.We are already pretty savvy when it comes to waste but I feel as though this is going to be more challenging for us because we still produce some when it comes to our organic meat. Really if anything it is going to be about us being more prepared and organised and I think we can all relate to that when it comes to becoming more waste conscious.
Our waste is growing at double the rate of our population with 52 mega tonnes generated a year. Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world.
- Craig Reucassel #WarOnWasteAU
We chose to completely give up waste for the month of Feb as the War on Waste is such a trending topic these days and I believe it is not only because of the publicity it is receiving in the media but because we are actually the ones creating it. Us. Ourselves. You and Me. Every single one of us is creating waste when we shop at the supermarket and use the plastic bags, when we buy a take away coffees, if we use plastic straws or buy plastic water bottles, if we buy packaged food, if we constantly buy new shoes or clothes, when we throw away empty jars and containers instead of re using them. Same goes with food if we buy food and don't eat it so we throw it out... we are producing waste in land fill.
In sooo many ways every single day we are producing waste.
5 Ways you can Reduce Waste at home
1. Composting - at home or at registered locations
There isn't much in our household that isn't composted. We have 4 composting bins between our place and Mr Burn's across the road. If you don't know the story about Mr Burns he is our 90 year old neighbour who's spare blocks we use to grow our produce and in return we feed him using the produce from the garden. It is a great deal we have going on really.
Starting a compost bin is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Nearly 25% of all waste produced in Australia is actually compostable and instead ends up in landfill. It is easy to start a backyard compost and even if you just start by just composting a bin full of scraps a week it is better than that bin full going to landfill. Tom and I are actually going to do a video on how to make your own compost bin and beginners guide for composting so stay tuned.
If you don't feel you are up for the task nor have room you can usually take scraps to local farmers markets to compost or register to compost at a location nearby. Brisbane City Council has a great composting initiative which you can learn more about here and also score yourself a free kitchen composting bin!
2. Reusable Bags - say no to plastic
Tom and I usually shop at the markets, food co-ops, Wray Organics or Source Bulk Food Stores because due to the severity of my Inflammatory Bowel Disease I find my body certainly needs to only eat all certified organic produce & meat.
However, the great part about shopping at these locations is their minimal use if any of plastic as well as packaging due to their conscious choices as well as always stocking products which practice sustainability and aim to reduce their own footprint.
We always take our own bags/boxes as well as reusable fruit and vegetable bags featured below. These really help to reduce plastic waste by preventing you from using those plastic fruit and veg bags at the shops which accumulate and are only used once and thrown into landfill.
3. Stop Single Use Products & Buy in bulk
Straws, take away cups, paper towel, napkins, tissues, cleaning products, toiletries and make better toilet paper choices. Like the brand who gives a crap who produce recycled toilet paper and oh my god they don't wrap their product in plastic - life changing!
Buy toiletries from companies like Thank You who provide aid to those in need with their business profits. These are such easy and simple ways to give back to the community, which are affordable and they make the effort on your behalf to be sustainable and wastage free.
Opt to refill your toiletries such as your shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid at stores like The Source Bulk Foods or buy products in bulk like Pure Castille Soap by Dr Bronners which you can buy 2L of and just keep refilling all your household soap containers with.
Buy in bulk when it comes to dry goods such as pasta, rice, nut meal, nuts, dried fruit, spices, legumes, nut butters, oils, vinegars, etc. Take your own containers and jars along to use when you refill instead of buying more. Reduces waste and reduces cost.
Always choose products where you have the option to refill, reuse and recycle.
4. Cancel UNNECESSARY mail & junk mail
Say no to junk mail, in Australia over 8.2 billion articles of junk mail are produced annually and they just end up as waste in landfill. Where you have the option choose to switch to email bills rather than paper bills to reduce the amount of paper used.
5. All about making a Conscious Effort...
These are all main suggestions on ways you can reduce waste in general however, everyone's household is different, we all consume different food and utilise different products.
Once you start on reducing waste in your household you will begin to notice what products you are buying which are accumulating the most waste and will have to figure out in which ways you can reduce this best.
Just this morning I opened up a box of organic ginger tea I bought on the weekend, the shop we usually buy tea from was closed so I was at our local Iga. I picked up the usual tea which I buy in loose leaf form and left not realise it was tea bags. When I opened it this morning there was the tea bag packet, separate sachets to cover each tea bag, tags on each tea bag and of course the tea bag. TALK ABOUT RIDICULOUS! Safe to say I won't buy them again but this is just an example of where you need to acknowledge the waste a product is producing and make the effort to look for better alternatives.
It is about making the conscious effort yourself in your own household to reduce waste where you can.
12 Product Swaps to get you started:
Reusable coffee cups
Beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap
Reusable produce bags
Stainless steel straws
Sectioned lunch boxes & bento boxes
Glass or stainless steel water bottles
Recycled toilet paper
Compost bin rather than rubbish bin
Compostable paper towel & tissues
Refill, reuse glass bottles & jars
Swap to biodegradable bin liners or paper bags
Make note of what packaging products are coming in that you purchase. Think about whether this product needs to come in packaging or if you have the option elsewhere to avoid it eg. using bulk bins. If it has to come in packaging choose packaging you can compost first, if this isn't an option than choose packaging you can recycle.
Good luck, subscribe if you want to keep updated on our 'wanting to be waste free' journey and our composting video and blog shouldn't be far away. Don't forget to comment any questions you may have!