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AT HOME- What is your impact?

LOW WASTE AT HOME- What is your impact?

A mildly confronting yet highly effective way to look at your impact is to closely (gross, we know) inspect what is going into your landfill bins at work and at home. Once you are aware of what you discard, you can start looking for plastic free or multi-use alternatives to these.

We will add to this in time but we thought we’d start with Kitchen and Bathroom as these spaces certainly generate the most waste!


KITCHEN

Shopping and food storage: A waste free approach to shopping is a great start to save on unnecessary packaging. You know the drill; buy in bulk, bring your own containers, produce bags and reusable carry bags. Pro tip: If you do find yourself sans jars or produce bags, fear not! Just sneak over to the mushroom section and pilfer the brown paper bags.

However, it is our culture of excessive food waste that mostly goes undisclosed. If food waste was a country, it is said that it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

⅓ of food grown goes to waste, so if shopping small and often isn’t convenient for you, storage is going to be king when it comes to keeping your organic food fresh. Certain areas of the refrigerator are made for certain foods, so a quick google of ‘best way to store [insert food here]’ will have you on your way to enjoying your weekly haul in your belly and not your bin. If you do buy excess the freezer is a great alternative to your green bin, as is giving to a friend and finally, composting.

Waxed baking paper and used foil can’t be recycled, so for cooking and baking reach for washable and reusable silicone mats as an alternative. Beeswax wraps, reusable containers, repurposed jars or a good old fashioned bowl with a plate on top is an easy replacement for plastic wrap when storing leftovers or opened perishables.

A quick word on meat: If you gotta eat it, eat it mindfully. Buy as locally as possible and ask about the farm’s processes. Understand the impact of your choice to eat meat and demand better practices from the meat industry as a stakeholder. Most meat also comes in plastic packaging, which is something we haven’t found an alternative for. If you have found a way around this, holla - we’d love to share!






BATHROOM

Toilet Paper: We have been using Who Gives a Crap in our home and business for years. It’s a no brainer, get on it! They’re also working hard to be plastic free!


That Time of the Month: We’re recent cup converts and though we definitely had reservations about trying them, all we can say is persevere as once you get the hang of it, the benefits are plentiful.

Firstly, the hugely positive impact this simple switch has on the environment is hard to ignore, as you will no longer contribute to the 8 BILLION single use sanitary items going into landfill and waterways across the globe each year.

Secondly, the personal pay-offs are also pretty good. You can leave these bad boys in for up to 12 hours, exercise and swimming are a breeze and the whole process becomes totally fuss free. Who likes dealing with used tampons and pads? Not us. Our Go-to? Hello Cup.


Oral Care: Bamboo Biodegradable Toothbrushes are an instant and easily accessible winner, but if you’re an electric toothbrush fan then Goodwell have developed a battery free alternative that is also very easy on the eyes.

If you use plastic oral care, you can recycle it via Terracycle Oral Care Recycling Program but there are great eco alternatives to these products.


Toothpaste: Make your own via @biome.


Flossing: Eco Floss is biodegradable with a reusable glass jar via @biome.


Cotton Swabs: Support @lastswab’s Indigogo campaign.


Beauty products: We are always on the hunt for beauty brands doing clever things. We love Kjaer Weis make-up and Le Labo fragrances who offer a discounted refillable service.

TerraCycle has also teamed up with Flora and Fauna, so you can now recycle things like beauty tubes, bottles, make up packaging etc that usually end up in landfill. An added bonus is for every box of plastic beauty product packaging you return, you get $10 off to spend at Flora and Fauna's online store. Win win! Details found here.




HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING

Soft Plastics: Any single use plastic packaging can now be taken to Coles and Woolworths to be recycled into school furniture via Red Cycle. Included is a thorough guide on what you can and can’t recycle this way.


Cartons, Cans and Jars: Did you know that unwashed cartons, cans and jars contaminate recycling streams? Make it a rule to wash as soon as you empty it- no one wants to go back though the recycling box to wash a days old container!


Composting: Having a home compost is great for keeping food waste from landfill and if you don’t have the room or time you can even get clever contraptions to speed up the composting process. Share Waste is a wonderful scheme that can connect you to neighbours who will take your food scraps for composting or chook food and as a bonus is a great way to bring your local community together.


Clothing: Shockingly, the average Australian throws 26kg of textile waste into landfill each year, and this statistic represents clothing going straight to the red bin, not via charities! Of course, we know to donate our preloved clothes in good condition to charities but what about damaged or worn clothing? What about your old socks, towels, hankies and undies? SCR Group (@scrgroup) have all sorts of recycling streams and will take these off your hands. Just label the bag and these items will either end up in rag-in-a-bag schemes (for natural fibres), textile recycling schemes for synthetic fibres or packed into fuel blocks to be burnt as biofuel (as a last resort - still far better than landfill). They are also working closely with labs to develop a science which breaks down poly-cotton back to raw material where it can be remade into fabric, which will close the loop. Winner.



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