For those working towards greater waste freedom and a cleaner, safer environment for our wildlife – bravo! – we’ve shortlisted…
10 handy waste-whittlers to help you on your way!
Composta – The Composta turns your everyday kitchen scraps into a rich organic fertiliser which feeds the plants growing right within the pot itself. Of course, the even more committed composter may want to go DIY with these tips from Bunnings.
- Chickens – Speaking of commitment, we understand that this one’s not to be taken lightly. But if you’re serious about cutting down on the 4,000,000 tonnes of food Australians discard each year, reducing yard waste, controlling pests and weeds chemical-free, producing your own fertiliser, and of course enjoying organic, nutritious, cruelty-free eggs as a bonus, you may want to join the chicken-keeping trend of recent years. Here’s a Complete Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens and Brisbane City Council’s conditions for keeping poultry.
- Old/free newspapers – Plastic-free and cost-effective, old/free paper/newspapers are a practical solution to the predicted increase in plastic bin liners once major supermarkets scrap the plastic bag nation-wide next year. “I haven’t used a plastic bin liner in 25 years,” Jon Dee (managing director of environmental lobby group Do Something, founder of the National Plastic Bag Campaign, and special guest speaker at WPSQ’s Wildlife Matters: In a Climate of Change symposium in September) told news.com.au earlier this month. “The simple fact is you don’t actually need to have a plastic bin liner in order to put your rubbish out. Every four to six weeks rinse out the bin and empty it on the grass.” It can also be reused to clean windows and glass, and wrap gifts.
- BYO cups – It is estimated that the 500 billion disposable cups used in the world each year placed end to end could circumnavigate the earth 1,360 times. If you don’t already have a favourite BYO tea/coffee cup tucked away in your handbag or car, Australian-designed-and-made KeepCup could be the one.
- Boomerang Bags – Community-made using recycled materials, Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags. More than this, they collect and connect like-minded people to create a paradigm shift to a more conscious society.
Beeswax food wraps – The “new” old-fashioned alternative to plastic for food storage, these natural fiber wraps are infused with beeswax to create a versatile, mouldable, water resistant and re-usable replacement for disposable cling wrap and foil. Bee Green Wraps, for example, are proudly made in Australia.
- Homemade cleaning products – Non-toxic and cost-effective, these easy-to-make solutions are solutions indeed to the repetitive consumption of their chemical-ridden and plastic-packaged counterparts. Here is The Ultimate Guide to Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes, and for the more time-poor, two dads from Bondi Beach have a solution and some great savings currently on offer at ekoWorx.
- Loose leaf tea – With it recently coming to light that not all tea bags are fully biodegradable, loose leaf tea has emerged as the greener alternative. And once you’ve done away with tea bags, why not quit its packaging altogether? You can fill a BYO container with loose leaf tea and endless other things at bulk whole food stores such as The Source.
- Trolley bags and produce bags – Though homemade products and sourcing in bulk are gaining popularity, regular trips to the supermarket are still a reality for most of us. With single-use plastic bags thankfully on their way out, though, here’s a reusable, Aussie-made trolley bag system that also helps the more structured shopper sort as they go. And while we’re at it, let’s reduce our reliance on those insidious little plastic produce bags as well. Fruity Sacks are a great solution.
- Digital subscriptions – Old paper can be recycled and reused in many ways, but let’s not forget that ‘reduce’ comes first in the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ hierarchy. Reduce paper waste significantly by switching to a digital subscriptions of your favourite magazine – Wildlife Australia! Download the Wildlife Australia app from the app store in iTunes, Google Play, Kindle Fire or Pocketmags.