In the fourth and final installment of my top tips for reducing waste, I’ll introduce you to the next 2 changes you can introduce into your daily life to reduce your reliance on single-use items and ultimately your carbon footprint.
By now hopefully some of the changes you have made this month have become habit and you will continue to employ these habits into the future. My wish is that my children’s children are able to go for a swim at the same beach I swim at without having to wade through plastic waste to get to it. My wish is that there is enough marine life left at that same beach for my children and their children to snorkel the same reef I do. For this to be possible we need to make plastic free July continue the whole year long.
The average household in my area sends 740kg of waste to landfill every year. The next two tips are aimed at reducing this number for your household.
- Shop at a bulk store- I will admit I am kind of a crazy glass lady. I keep any form of glass jar that comes into the house. Now before a bulk food store opened near me, this was kind of awkward but alas I finally have a use for my glass jar supply. If you don’t know how these stores work, ill run you through. Basically you take your own jar it, get it weighed prior to filling it with delicious products, fill it with said delicious products, write the product code on the jar and take it to the counter to get it re-weighed. Simple as that! Now there are two benefits to these types of stores. Firstly there is no packaging, saving all that plastic waste (they have paper bags if you don’t have a collection of glass jars to use or you can purchase jars in store) and secondly, you only purchase what you need which will save you money and prevent food waste from heading to landfill. Check out stores like The Source or Naked Foods to fulfill all your (ok maybe just mine) glass filling desires.
- Compost- I mentioned in part 1 we only have the equivalent of one bag of rubbish per week. It wasn’t always this way though. Prior to starting a compost bin, our waste was double what it is now and according to stats from my local area, composting can cut the amount of waste sent to landfill per household in half! Then there is the added benefit of adding nutrient rich soil to your garden enabling you to grow luscious vegetables. One thing you may not know is that the breakdown of organic waste (especially when in a plastic bag) produces methane and is responsible for 2.5% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Some local councils run composting programs with a free compost bin or a bin to purchase at a discount. Otherwise a great under sink addition is the bokashi bin available at https://www.bokashi.com.au/.
Now if you are all over these waste reducing tips other ways you can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill is to use a bamboo toothbrush- majority are compostable, pick one with a soft head; use bamboo cotton buds- these are also compostable in a home compost bin or will still breakdown if sent to landfill; save non compostable food scraps such as onion and garlic off-cuts to add to broths/soups, and citrus rinds to make a homemade surface spray; take your own re-fillable container when purchasing takeaway; and for women purchase a menstrual cup.
As I have previously said, you don’t have to implement everything at once, start with the basics and once they become habit work on the next one.
You can do this!
Disclaimer: I receive no payment/gifts for the products I recommend in these articles.