Reducing Our Waste

A huge topic and really difficult to know where to begin.  Best to start from somewhere and I'll slowly grow this area as we progress.
 
My husband and I recently watched the two War on Waste episodes which I highly recommend.  The kids caught a glimpse of it whilst walking past the lounge room and also became interested and started watching the programs too.   We picked up so much information from just two episodes and it was a real eye opener.  Looking forward to the follow-ups.

We still have a long way to go however are slowly but surely improving all the time and learning so much as we go.  

Shopping Bags
I've been using my own shopping bags for many years now and am happy to hear that Coles and Woolworths across Australia will be phasing out plastic bags over the next 12 months.

These bags are over 10 years old.


I'm currently storing our veggies in Ever Eco Produce Bags which I purchased from our local health shop.  They are fantastic and keep our veggies very fresh and hold large amounts.  These bags can also be used out shopping however I would like to keep these as storage only and have something a little stronger for out at the market etc.  I currently use my Coles bags above however I've noticed a few are starting to rip in places.  I've been speaking with our health shop and they will be stocking some new ones soon for trial.


Very happy with these bags.

Making our own bin liners has also made a considerable difference as plastic bags are not needed at all.

Lunch/Snack Wraps
When the kids were younger I would pack their lunches and snacks into plastic containers to avoid using snaplock bags, freezer bags and cling wrap.  That worked well back then because they had their lunch in the classroom however they now take their lunch outside.  Being left carrying around containers is not the most convenient therefore we use beeswax wraps.  They're perfect and once lunch or snack is finished they fit inside their pockets.  


Beeswax and Onya lunch wraps.

I first heard about Onya products from a post on Chel's blog Going Grey and Slightly Green.  Our health shop stock this product so I've recently purchased the lunch wrap to trial.  It is a good size which will fit larger items such as bread rolls and focaccia bread.  I will keep this one for when we are out and about and pack a light snack or lunch.  I'll stick with the beeswax for school as they're smaller.

Coffee Cups
Another great site is Responsible Cafes where you can enter a location and they list cafes within that vicinity who offer discounts if you bring your own coffee cup.  After watching the War on Waste episodes it really highlighted the amount of disposable coffee cups which are used.  

I prefer my plunger and favourite coffee mug from the kids.

Soft Plastics
All of our soft plastics are now returned to the supermarket for recycling thanks to RedCycle.  This alone has made a considerable difference in the amount of waste going into our actual rubbish bin. 


Source
The amount of packaging used for many products is quite excessive which I'm noticing more and more.  I avoid purchasing these items.  Really taking note of the amount of packaging we bring into the home is also key to reducing our waste.

By making our own cleaning products and washing liquid also reduces the amount of packaging we bring into our home.
 

  
Sometimes we can just go about things without really thinking past just what happens to our waste.  We toss it into our bins, a truck comes by weekly and it magically disappears.  Now I am constantly thinking about each bit of rubbish trying to avoid throwing it in the bin.  

Just by making some changes as above we now only half fill our rubbish bin.  That is already a huge difference and still so much to learn. 

Another big issue which War on Waste also highlighted was the amount of wasted food.  So many ideas to reduce food waste in our home which I'll also share as we go along.

9 comments

  1. You are doing a great job reducing waste and plastic. I also use cloth shopping bags and reusable produce bags. I'm still learning about exactly which type of plastic I can put in the recycling bin. I have two large bins provided by the city, one for trash and the other for recyclable material.
    I watched War on Waste. It's really eye opening and sometimes frustrating to see the waste of food, when there are so many people who don't have enough to eat.

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  2. Oh food waste is such a big issue and I also find it so, so frustrating. As you said too many people without enough to eat.

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  3. Hi Kylie, Wow! Those reusable produce bags and beeswax wraps look fantastic! All of this stuff is so important. I've been using cloth shopping bags and flannel moon pads for twenty years. I can do more, though. I love your coffee mug and french press!

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  4. I will be absolutely devasted if I ever break that mug. The kids bought it many, many years ago from a Mother's Day Stall - it's really special and old.

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  5. So much that we waste around our homes could be recycled or used as a resource for something else. Thanks for the information.

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  6. Good on you, Kylie! I love that all the little things you do and changes you've made are so very achievable. We can reduce waste at the individual/family level quite simply. Meg:)

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  7. You are doing a great job Kylie. I'm about to buy some beeswax wraps and I've bought a similar lunch cloth wrap that you have there for my daughter. It works really well. Every little change we make adds up and it makes others aware, so we can be an example and educator to others.

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  8. Kylie I hope the lunch wrap works for you, Racheal from our Simple Living Toowoomba group will be making beeswax wraps on Saturday at our War on Waste workshop. It should be very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Enjoy Chel, I'd love to join you.

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