By Lottie Dalziel
It was this time last year that I got serious about reducing my waste. At the time I felt like I was wading through murky water and going nowhere. If you feel overwhelmed and not sure where to even start, here is a round-up of ten ways to get started on your less waste journey.
Australians throw away 20% of their groceries each year or 345kg of food, costing us a whopping $1,036 per household. Cut down on food waste and not only will you save money you’ll also save the planet. If food waste was a country it would be the world’s third biggest carbon emitter after China and the US.
1. Plan out your meals and write a list before you head to the shops! This will stop impulse buys and mean you won’t shop to excess and eat through your pantry. It will help you save money and also stop food waste!
2. Has a friend just called up for a last minute catch-up that you just can’t refuse? Instead of wasting your delicious pre-made dinner head out for a walk or invite them over for a smorgasbord dinner. This will save you both money but also means you’re not letting a perfectly good dinner go to waste.
3. Start composting. The food waste that goes into our bins creates more greenhouse gases than aeroplane emissions. Either grab a compost bin for your backyard (the council will give you a good discount) or if you are in an apartment use your neighbours using the ShareWaste app.
Plastic is the devil of the modern century. With over 8 million tonnes of plastic entering our ocean each year this is how we can slash the plastic in 2019.
4. Make simple plastic free swaps! Don’t go bananas and do it all at once but as you run out of something make a switch to a plastic free option. Did you know that every plastic toothbrush and razor you’ve ever used still exists somewhere on this Earth. Make a change and switch. For example try out a bamboo toothbrush or a safety razor. They work the same (if not better!) and will save waste in the future.
5. When you’re doing your weekly grocery shop instead of just comparing the prices between two very similar products compare their impact. Is one wrapped in plastic and the other in cardboard? Also use reusable produce bags instead of plastic bags in the fruit and veg section.
6. Separate and recycle your soft plastics. Add an extra small bin into your kitchen so when you’re throwing out biscuit trays, clean packets etc they can go in there then when you head to your grocery shop take them with you.
7. Be prepared. It sounds easier than it is but carry a reusable bag with you when you can and if you’re heading out for the day throw in a water bottle and some bamboo cutlery. This will help you to avoid having to use single-use plastics which currently equate to 50% of all the plastic we consume.
Fast fashion was in the spotlight in 2018, here’s how you can really make it a thing of the past in 2019.
8. Wearing our clothes for an extra nine months could reduce the clothing industries footprint by 20-30%. So next time you go to buy a new shirt think twice – do you have another one similar to this at home?
9. Are you off to a fancy occasion with nothing to wear? It happens to everyone! Let’s be honest these dresses we only wear a small handful of times so why not borrow a friends instead or you could hire one for the night for a fraction of the price.
About the author
Lottie Dalziel is the founder and editor in chief of Banish. She has a passion for the environment and wants to help educate and inspire individuals to make small changes towards a more sustainable future. Stay up to date with her latest challenges on Instagram @banish.au.