Today is World Environment Day! A day to reflect on our efforts locally and globally to protect and care for Mother Earth and all who inhabit her and set new goals to continue to reduce our impact on the world. This year one of our goals as a family was to reduce our single-use plastic consumption. Last week we got to bin collection day and for the first time since starting on our environmentally conscious lifestyle, we had no general rubbish to be collected.
As a family, we still have a long way to go in reducing our waste and consumption habits. But, here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the first six months into our journey.
A few months ago we came across REDcycle. REDcycle is a Melbourne based recycling program with collection bins in a heap of Coles and Woolworths supermarkets across Australia. They collect soft plastics – plastics that can be scrunched up in a ball – and recycle them into outdoor furniture, signs and other equipment. We’ve started a separate bin to collect these items in and take them to the supermarket with us to dispose of each week. Types of items they collect: bread bags, bubble wrap, chip packets, frozen food bags, fresh produce bags, snap lock bags, and a heap of others.
2. Farmers Markets
Shopping at farmers markets for fruit and veggie not only cuts your costs, but you can buy produce without all the added packaging. Plus you are generally buying directly from the farmer and the produce has only traveled an hour or two to be sold, greatly reducing the emissions that come from long haul transport with fruit and veggies purchased from the supermarket.
3. Food scraps
One of the biggest waste products that people throw out is food scraps. Set up a 2L icecream container in the fridge and pop all your food scraps in here. These are great for a compost bin if you have one or find a friend/neighbour with chooks as they love eating the scraps.
4. Say no to single use plastic
It’s become a habit now to say no to straws if we are out at a restaurant or cafe. Reusable bags live in the car and are used for carrying groceries and heaps of other general uses around the home. Lucky for us, we’re not big coffee drinkers, but with the cooler weather, Brett has started taking a coffee on his early morning starts, making it at home and taking a reusable travel mug to work with him.
These are just a few ways to begin to reduce your impact and care for Mother Earth. Have you already started your sustainable lifestyle journey? What other tips and tricks do you have? We’d love to hear them!
P.S: Don’t have any reusable bags?? You can purchase a Save the Turtle shopping bag and help Ilah on her mission to reduce plastic in the environment and protect the turtles!