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!
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|
|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|
|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|