Everyone is talking about global warming, pollution, “going green” – but what are you actually doing to play a part? As a family, you can do plenty of things to make a difference, and it begins with small steps in the home. Here we delve deeper into what you can do at home to contribute to the environment in a positive way.
Why You Need To Reduce Your Waste
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Aussie creates just over 2,000 kilos of waste every year. We spend over $1,200 on buying products we never use, and we waste around $600 worth of food. In the next 20 years, that number is expected to increase – and humans in general will consume more than we have ever done so in the history of mankind. The biggest wasters? Families with small children.
This is why it’s imperative that we each play a part and if you want a brighter future for those children, and future generations, reducing waste is the best place to start.
One of the major reasons we need to reduce waste is that it also decreases the amount of landfill, which takes up valuable space and is a major source of air and water pollution. Also, by reducing waste, you’re conserving resources such as trees, aluminium and petroleum – all of which are used for making plastic (if you stop using single-use plastics, you’ll play a part in reducing these).
It’s essential to keep in mind that everything you buy, wear and eat uses energy for manufacturing and processing. By reducing the purchase of unnecessary products and food, you’re limiting the amount of new resources and the energy required to create these.
It’s not just about the environment either. By reducing your waste at home, you’ll find that your finances have a positive impact – by spending time focusing on what you’re buying, you’ll be wasting less food, and by reusing items, you’ll save money on purchases. And probably the most important reason is that it ensures a future for children. It helps the planet to survive, and by recycling and paying attention to the amount of waste you have in the home, your children are also learning how to be more responsible. Teaching these younger generations how to take care of the environment means we’re protecting their future – and that of their children and grandchildren.
So, what can you do?
6 Ways To Reduce Waste At Home
Reducing waste at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some of the ways you can get started.
Buy Secondhand & Donate
Manufacturing companies account for a large percentage of air pollution, and although Australia has done a lot to combat emissions from these factories, you can take it a step further. By purchasing your furniture, appliances, vehicles, and so on, secondhand, it’s one less product that needs to be manufactured. Although a small step, it’s still a step forward. Also, any time you do a spring clean, rather than binning all the things you no longer want, consider donating them if they are in good enough condition.
Ditch The Paper, Or Recycle It
If you subscribe to magazines or newspapers, swap the subscriptions over for digital editions instead. It’s much easier to read on the go, and you’ll help save some trees at the same time. The same goes for receipts at the supermarket (just say no when asked), and also for bank statements and other mail – make sure your accounts are all registered for digital, not hard copy. You should also put a No Junk Mail sticker on your letterbox so you don’t end up with hundreds of catalogues you’ll never read.
Breathe New Life Into Clothing
If you buy secondhand clothing, and then donate yours when you’re done, that’s great. But before you consider giving it away, think about how you might be able to repurpose it. If your jeans have holes in them – learn how to sew and fix them up. Buttons falling off your shirts – put them back on. Colour faded from your shorts – get some enviro-friendly dye and make them bright again.
Don’t Buy Disposables
We’re all guilty of it – family and friends are coming over for a big barbecue or birthday and, dreading the washing up that is guaranteed to follow, we invest in plastic plates and cutlery instead. Don’t do it. These light plastics end up in landfill, which is then washed away and lands in our oceans, making up around 80% of all marine debris. Every year, plastic kills more than 100,000 marine mammals and more than one million sea birds. If you really do want disposables, opt for recyclable bamboo instead.
Waste Not, Want Not
Didn’t eat all your dinner or cooked too much food for the family? Don’t throw it away! Freeze it for another day, use your leftover veggies to make “bubble and squeak” for lunch the next day, and put any fruit that’s no longer edible out for the native birds. If you have a compost (see next point), put your scraps into there instead. And you can reduce the amount of scraps you have in general by using the whole product – so rather than peeling your carrots and potatoes, cook and eat the skins as well (it’s actually the best part for your health!).
Start A Compost
All good compost requires three things: browns – your dead leaves and branches; greens – your vegetable waste and fruit scraps; and water. When it comes to the greens, start in the kitchen. You can add fruit and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, nutshells, tea bags; for the browns, add your leaves and sawdust, hair and fur from your pets, and you can even add shredded newspaper and cardboard. Composting reduces the need for you to use chemicals in your garden, encourages the production of beneficial fungi and bacteria, enriches the soil, and reduces the methane emissions from landfill.
And when you go out:
- Take a water bottle with you, so you don’t have to buy any
- Take your own coffee cup that you can hand over at cafes
- Remember your reusable grocery bags
- Purchase products that have less packaging or that have recyclable packaging
- Shop at the local farmers markets, also supporting local business
- Buy fruit and vegetables that aren’t perfect – too much food is wasted because supermarkets generally only stock “perfect” products
- Buy food in bulk, as it saves on packaging and money
Importance Of Recycling At Home
Not only is reducing your waste important, but ensuring you take care of the waste you do have is also essential. To do that, you need to recycle. You can recycle paper, plastics, glass and cardboard easily using your yellow recycle bin. You can also recycle metals, batteries, electronics, and some furniture. If you need help or advice, Cheapest Load of Rubbish are your rubbish removal Sydney experts. Simply get in touch with our team today to discuss your requirements or to arrange a quote.