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28 June, 2021

Five ways to handle home waste

HOUSEHOLD waste. This is a huge topic and a focus that can make a huge difference for the planet. Our best defense is always to reduce what we consume and to reuse items thoughtfully.


By Karen Jacobson

The next focus is managing our household waste in a way that minimises our impact.

Nothing about this topic seems all that glamorous, but small steps taken by all of us is the game.

No need for overwhelm. Scan through these and choose one small step to take to make a start.

There are five bins or refuse sections to managed and make a plan for.

Landfill

Having a sign on your landfill bin is powerful.

The goal is to have as little as possible in this bin.

Reading the word landfill keeps us present to what this refuse really is.

You could make this a family project - how little can we have go into our landfill bin?

Once you implement some or all of the ideas below, it’s possible it will take weeks not days to fill your landfill bin.

Recycling

Check with your Council to review a list of all of the items that are picked up and recycled.

This can go a long way to reducing your household waste. If you have children, involving them in this process is valuable on many levels.

They are likely learning more about waste at school than we know and might contribute a lot to the family household waste conversation and implementation.

Soft Plastics Many major supermarkets have a green bin at the front where you can return your soft plastics.

Sometimes I’ve had to ask where it is as it’s in a corner.

We use a soft plastic bag to put all of these in and this lives next to our landfill and recycling bins under the sink.

Soft plastics include the kind of plastic around crackers, biscuits, over fruit and veg.

We put that bag of soft plastics in our car, then the next time we shop, drop the whole thing into the green bin.

Compost

Get ready to reduce your refuse tremendously.

We could talk all day about the variety of options for composting.

Visit your local hardware or garden retailer to investigate different compost bins or worm farms.

This can easily be set up for your own garden if you live in a house.

If you are in a unit, begin the conversation with your neighbours to explore solutions for your building. What goes into compost?

All fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, and even some paper towel will decompose in compost.

We store our compost in our freezer until we take it to the Whitsunday Organic Garden which has a compost bin for the community.

Perhaps you have a friend with a compost set up.

If there is one Zero Waste tip that makes the most sense in the world it is this one.

Yes, it takes some up front effort, but it won’t take long to get into a routine.

Cans, Bottles and Single Use Plastic Drink Bottles

How fantastic that Queensland has the bottle return system.

This is another excellent project to involve children.

Collect throughout the week and return for 10 cents each to Anything Environmental in Jubilee Pocket behind the Tavern or your local collector.

If you are doing some or all of the household waste solutions above, it’s jarring how tiny the landfill section of your rubbish becomes literally overnight.

Other ideas

*We collect all glass jars from jam, mayo, vegemite and clean them.

They go in a box and when we visit the local markets, it’s pretty straightforward to find someone who makes preserves who is thrilled to reuse them.

Rest assured every one of these actions moves the needle in the direction of a zero waste community.

Choose one action implement a week or a month

Let’s share our ideas and work toward a truly Zero Waste Whitsundays.

If you have additional tips, we would love to hear them.

Your zero waste interest or journey is of interest to us. Feel free to connect on Instagram @ zerowastewhitsundays for more resources or join our private FB group to share your story.


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