As a mindful consumer, reducing your household waste might already be on your agenda, but there’s always more to do. Zero Waste Week is an excellent time to audit your waste habits and make better choices around the home, for the future of the environment.
Step 1. Complete a waste audit
Audit what goes into your bin for a week to find your starting point. It’s a great way to highlight what improvements can be made. Knowledge equals power!
Keep a sheet of paper in the kitchen near the bin, and track everything that goes in there or download this free template from Zero Waste Week). Everytime you toss something in the bin, jot down answers to the following questions and review them at the end of the week.
- Why am I throwing this away?
- What improvement could I make?
- Where will it end up?
Step 2. Create new habits
Once you have awareness of the items you’re throwing away, it’s easier to form new habits. Here are some common waste culprits that could be ending up in your bin, and how to stop that from happening.
Instead of shopping at supermarkets, head to your local bulk food store and take your own reusable containers.
Instead of buying cheap plastic nappies that only get used one, invest in quality reusable ones.
Instead of tossing food waste in the bin, get a home compost solution (try Urban Composter, or Composta Worm Farm Planter Pot).
Instead of making your daily fix to-go (especially when you’ve forgotten your reusable cup), sit in and take a moment to enjoy your coffee.
Step 3. Recycle more items
There are many things we habitually toss in the trash without a second thought, but we can recycle them, sometimes it just takes a touch more effort.
If bread bags, plastic retail bags, biscuit packets, frozen food bags, chip bags, dry pet food bags or bubble wrap are making their way into your bin, find your local soft plastics recycling point and recycle them. Red Cycle offer a great service and are located at major supermarkets like Coles & Woolworths.
Think wine bottles, water bottles, kids juice packs or boxed milks cartons. These should all be going in your recycling bin by now...but if not, this is a friendly reminder to rinse and recycle them in your regular council pick up service.
Kids toys and clothes
As long as it’s in good condition, consider passing on old toys and clothes to friends or donate them to charity. If they’re not in great condition, old clothes can be turned into cleaning rags.
Over to you!
Watch your waste for an entire week and see what things you can divert from landfill.