Each year the average Australian household creates 1.3 tonnes of landfill waste, and all that decomposing rubbish is producing methane, a greenhouse gas more harmful than carbon dioxide. The good news is that there are plenty of simple ways to cut back on our household waste. Here’s a few to get you started:
Use your recycling bin and remember not to put recyclables in plastic bags – they jam the machinery. If you’re wanting to recycle rubbish other than paper, glass and plastic, visit Recycling Near You, a great site that tells you how and where to recycle just about anything.
Up to 40 per cent of household waste can be composted, including food scraps, garden cuttings, paper and card. If you’re space challenged, try a worm farm. Come along to one of our Green Village workshops to get started.
3. Pass it on
As they say, your trash could easily be someone else’s treasure. Before you throw out nana’s knitting basket, think about whether a friend might like it. Or that old chair which doesn’t suit your new style? Check out our upcycling tips to give old furniture and clothes a new lease of life.
4. Less paper
Always think before you print at home. If possible, print on both sides. Scrap paper can also be re-used as drawing books for young kids.
Stop! Before you tear the packaging on a parcel in your rush to open it, remember that you can often re-use it next time you need to put something in the post.
6. Avoid the disposable
Whenever possible avoid purchasing disposable products. Try using squares of cloth for cleaning. Just wash them afterwards. Invest in a good drink bottle and fill it up before you leave home. And make sure you get yourself a couple of good sturdy shopping bags or green bags – and remember to take them with you!
7. Less is best
Look for products with less packaging – avoid buying single serves of any item, head for the concentrates when you’re purchasing liquids, and try and purchase in bulk when you can, or – better still – find a local food co-op that lets you fill up your own jars.
8. Make your cleaning natural
You can avoid using a lot of chemical cleaners, which are not only bad for you and the environment, but also come in packaging. Check out our ten tips for a clean, green home and find out how.
9. A stitch in time
When you buy an appliance or a new household item, make sure you regularly maintain it. It will last a lot longer! And if it breaks down, always find out whether it can be repaired before you dispose of it.
10. A borrower be
Borrow, rent or share items you’re not going to use often or for long. Toys and baby equipment are good examples. And if it’s more than likely that the bread-making machine you’ve been eyeing off won’t get many more outings than the yoghurt machine you bought two years ago, borrow one for a while. See if you’re really serious before you purchase.