War on Waste ABC: Your Game Plan to Reduce Waste

Thanks to the brilliant ABC series War on Waste, you've seen the startling statistics on the waste we Australians generate. Don't feel overwhelmed… at Biome we're great believers in many small changes adding up to a big reduction in waste. And we're here to help!

War on Waste ABC - how to reduce waste around the home -reduce waste with reusable food wraps Have you noticed in recent years that your household recycling bin has doubled in size and the landfill bin is less full? At first this seems positive, but it is a sign of growing reliance on packaged food, personal care and consumer goods. Past generations made more from scratch and repaired quality items rather than "buying a new one because it was cheaper". Being able to put something in the recycling when we're done makes it easier for us to consume more disposable goods without guilt. Of course, it's far better that we recycle responsibly than not at all, but we really need to stop single-use items being produced in the first place. It's the first R in Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. Once you have taken a good look at which discarded items are filling up your kerbside bins, set some small goals to tackle the war on waste. The changes will build easily as you become more aware of the waste created by your choices.

Your Plan to Tackle the War on Waste

1. List what is currently filling up your household recycling and landfill bins. Match those items up with your daily habits that led to them ending up there. Now, decide some ways that you can avoid accumulating that waste.

2. Pick the low hanging fruit. Choose something that will be fairly painless for you to do. Could it be taking your own reusable mesh fruit and veggie bags? Using a KeepCup instead of throwing a cup away? Or composting your scraps instead of tossing?

3. Buoyed by your small victories in this war on waste, set a target of only allowing yourself a certain size receptacle into which you will fit all your waste that can not be composted or recycled. This will force you to think twice about how you will fit the discarded packaging into your weekly bucket, bag or even jar!

4. Learn to make your own. Whether it is getting back to first principles with cooking and using unprocessed ingredients, or making your own skin care. You can easily make your own toothpaste, deodorant and body scrubs.

5. Fall in love with composting! Even when you're eating the wonky bananas, there's always some food scrap waste. Save our planet from the greenhouse gases created by those scraps in landfill and produce rich conditioner for your garden at the same time. Worms are super cute!

Our Guide to Waste Free Alternatives

Single use disposables Zero waste choice
Tissues Cotton Hanky
Baby wipes Washable cotton cloths
Plastic cotton buds Bamboo cotton buds that can be composted
Plastic straws Stainless steel straws, bamboo straws, glass straw
Plastic cutlery Pop a reusable cutlery or chopsticks in your bag
Takeaway plate or container BYO Stainless steel container
Not recyclable Not compostable Reusable choice
Takeaway coffee cups Reusable coffee cup like a KeepCup or Joco
Gladwrap, Cling wrap Beeswax or vegan food wraps, silicone food covers reusable sandwich wraps, bento lunch boxes
Soft plastic fruit & veg bags* Organic cotton or Onya reusable produce bags
Plastic bread bags* Purchase fresh loaf and put in cloth bread bag
Plastic toothbrushes Bamboo toothbrush can be composted or buried
Menstrual pads, tampons Reusable cloth pads, menstrual cup
Toothpaste in plastic tube Make your own toothpaste ; toothpaste tablets
Plastic grocery bags* Jute shopping bag
Packaging waste Packaging free choice
Personal Care*
Shampoo & conditioner in plastic bottles Shampoo bars and Apple Cider Vinegar rinse
Deodorant in plastic container DIY deodorant recipe
Liquid soap in plastic pump bottle Bar of palm oil free soap
Face cleansers in plastic containers Clay face block, Konjac sponges, Biome Skin Care
Laundry liquid in plastic bottle Soapberries (aka soap nuts) straight off the tree!
Food & gifts
Processed foods Buy in bulk and fill your own glass jars
Bottled water Reusable water bottle
Yoghurt containers Make your own & use reusable pouches
Ice blocks Make your own healthy ice blocks
Beer & Kombucha Make your own or take your Growler to a boutique brewery and fill up
Gifts Buy local handmade gifts, or make your own
Food waste Options to save
Fruit and vegetables The Swag Produce Bag for storing in the fridge
Scraps Compost scraps into fertiliser for your garden rather than send to landfill: Bokashi compost bin, worms,and our Stainless Steel Oggi Compost Bin.
Wonky bananas Nth Qld farmer makes gluten free flour from green bananas that didn't meet supermarket rules
Produce packaged in plastic Find a business that sells them without plastic!
Pet waste Compostable choices
Dog waste plastic bags Newspaper to wrap up, or compostable plastic bags
Dog and cat poo Compost using EnsoPet Bokashi composter
Note that soft plastics such as grocery bags and bread bags can be recycled at some major supermarkets once you find the bin. Biome recycles all our soft plastics by sending to RedCycle. *For a plastic-free alternative to disposable razors, we now have reusable safety razors. They last forever and use recyclable razor blades.

How it Adds Up: More Than 6.7 Million Items Saved

Calculations based on Biome Eco Stores's 12-month purchase and usage figures reveal our customers have saved a total of 6,764,320 single use coffee cups, plastic bags, produce bags, water bottles and plastic straws! This incredible figure does not even include all the other reusable choices that Biome customers make to save unnecessary packaging and materials, such as food covers and beeswax food wraps, ice block moulds, sporks, menstrual cups and make your own skin care. Browse our tools and ideas to help you tackle the war on waste with zero waste living. Rediscover good old fashioned bars of soap to save the waste of plastic liquid soap bottles with Est olive oil soap balls. Go back to good old fashioned bars of soap to save the waste of plastic liquid soap bottles. Main image credit: Reusable beeswax wraps replace throwaway plastic cling wrap by HoneyBee Wrap. Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save
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