10 Simple & Easy Ways to Reduce Your Waste

June 06, 2020

10 Simple & Easy Ways to Reduce Your Waste

In 2016-17 Australians generated about 67 million tonnes of waste a year, and that figure is on the increase. Further, more than 3.5 million tonnes of plastic were consumed in Australia in 2016-17. Less than 10% (293,000 tonnes) were recycled in those years. Clearly, we have a waste crisis on our hands, not only in Australia but also world-wide. It is our responsibility, as individuals, to do something about it.


So, what small activities and actions can you engage in, to help reduce waste you are creating?


Below I put together a list of 10 ways you can reduce your waste, very easily and quickly!

1. STOP BUYING WHAT YOU DO NOT NEED

A super easy way to reduce your waste is to simply stop buying so much stuff you really do not need. When you are buying new things, you are creating demand for those items, as well as creating demand for its journey of production and the waste that comes along with it. Simply saying no to items you don't need, and being grateful for what you do have is one of the biggest steps you can take to reduce your waste.

2. LIMIT YOUR USE OF SINGLE-USE & DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS

Choose alternatives which can be used again. Opt for products with minimal packaging where possible such as bar soap, shampoo bars, dishwashing bars, loose leaf tea. Refuse plastic bags where you can too. Keep reusable bags handy so you remember to take them to the shops.

3. GET YOUR OWN REUSABLES

Get your own reusable bottle, straws, cutlery, containers, napkins. Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to break down, so it’s more important than ever that we stop buying plastic water bottles and bring our own reusable versions. Simply put, when avoiding single use items, it is important to bring your own.

4. GIVE ITEMS YOU NO LONGER WANT AWAY

Give unwanted clothes, household items, furniture or appliances to family or friends, or donate them to charities. Freecycle and other online groups help communities give away unwanted items. If you are purchasing something, try to find it second-hand or buy items containing recycled content.

5. SHOP LOCAL

Not only is it better to support the local economy, but local markets and stores often use a lot less plastic to wrap their goods.

6. RE-USE TAKEAWAY CONTAINERS & JARS

Use washed takeaway containers for storing small objects such as nails and pins. Use glass jars to store food or other items or pass them on to friends or groups who can utilise them.

7. FIND OUT WHAT RECYCLING FACILTIES ARE AVAILABLE

Find out what drop-off and recycling facilities are available in your local area. Contact your local council- they may collect other items for recycling, including mobile phones and printer cartridges. Contact your local council to find out what e-waste recycling services they offer for larger electronic and electrical products. Check with your local council for safe ways to dispose hazardous household waste as it cannot go in your normal garbage.

8. BUY THINGS IN BULK

Bulk buying has become quite popular and available, so take your own containers, and stock up on the essentials without the extra packaging!

9. DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR FOOD

Much of the food waste in our kitchens comes from inadequate planning or simply buying too much food. Check what is in your fridge before you go shopping and plan your next meals around what needs to be eaten. Put food items in the freezer if you are not able to eat them soon.

10. COMPOST YOUR ORGANIC WASTE

If you are not composting, then most of the weight in your rubbish bin is likely coming from food scraps. Unfortunately, when food waste goes to landfill, it cannot decay properly and therefore produces methane, a greenhouse gas. If you compost, you are therefore reducing these emissions that are going into the environment.

Information sourced from https://www.energy.gov.au/households/reducing-waste

Image by Wild Minimalist

 





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