In part one of my top tips for reducing waste I’ll share with you the 2 easiest changes you can make to reduce your reliance on single-use items and ultimately your carbon footprint.
There’s no better time to start than during plastic free July. This year I’m going naked… in my bin that is! We already produce quite a low level of waste, only 1 bag in our general rubbish bin per week, however that’s still 52 bags per year and quite frankly 52 too many in my eyes. So the goal this plastic free July is to eliminate plastic bags altogether. This may seem like a big step for some and trust me it is going to take some getting used to but we are prepared with an air tight container to hold our non-compostable ‘wet’ waste during the week, which we will then put in our kerbside bin the morning of collection, to prevent odours forming and maggots growing in our kerbside bin.
If this seems unachievable and unrealistic don’t worry there are other smaller and easier things you can implement in your daily life to reduce your waste. Try to implement one thing per week or per month and before you know it these little changes will slowly become habit. By doing this you will be reducing your carbon footprint, reducing the amount of plastic going to landfill (or in our oceans) and reducing your exposure to environmental toxins we are exposed to through plastic use.
- Replace plastic bottles for a re-usable drink bottle- One of the easiest steps to do. A report out in 2017 suggested 1 million plastic bottles are being used worldwide every minute! No that’s not a typo. Recent studies have even found some water to contain plastic particles- lets not even go into the health repercussions that could have- and many people aren’t aware that plastic starts to break down when exposed to heat releasing micro toxins into the water you are drinking. Now best option is a glass bottle. You can get really good covers these days to protect the glass, however there are some really great stainless steel insulated bottles available for a travel, leave in the bag or car friendly option. Steer clear of copper drink bottles- even though they are super cute. Copper displaces zinc in our bodies and as zinc is such an important mineral, its not ideal for this to happen. I have a glass bottle I leave in the fridge at work and an insulated stainless steel bottle to take with me on the go.
- Ditch disposable coffee cups for a re-usable cup- Another easy step, you just have to remember to take it with you! One thing the ABC’s War on Waste program shed to light was the fact that most coffee cups can’t be recycled as they have a plastic layer inside to prevent the contents soaking through to the outside. Reports suggest as a country Australia uses 1 billion disposable coffee cups every year. This is simply staggering, that’s 1 billion cups in landfill, in our oceans and in our national parks. I have two favourites here. The first is a glass cup with a cork heat protector from https://au.keepcup.com/keepcup-series/changemakers-brew-cork-series.html. They are available in 3 sizes, multiple colours and have a plug on the lid to prevent spillages. I have had this cup for a few years now and it’s still going strong. The second is a stainless steel cup from https://cheeki.net.au/collections/coffee-mugs/products/350ml-coffee-mug-olive. They come in 2 sizes, 6 colours, are guaranteed to keep your liquids hot for up to 8 hours and cold for up to 12 hours. The absolute best thing about these cups is that they are leak-proof meaning they can go from the car to your bag to upside down in your bag and not spill a drop! Both protecting your precious coffee, tea or turmeric latte and the contents of your bag. I have had this cup for over 12 months now and it still works a treat.
Remember- no need to implement everything at once, just doing the first three steps will already drastically reduce your waste. Then slowly work at implementing the more challenging steps.
You can do this! Pop back next week for Part two.
Disclaimer: I receive no payment/gifts for the products I recommend in these articles.