"I try to reduce my waste, but everything you buy these days comes in a plastic packaging so how can I do anything that will reduce it?” that’s the typical first reaction I hear when talking to someone about the waste problem. A long time ago, when I first started looking into reducing my ways, I kept seeing the term ‘zero waste’ come up. That sounded like an impossible task to me which requires enormous change to my lifestyle, or in other words sacrifice, which I just was not willing to make.
But here’s the thing. The amount of waste we produce is well over 0. Every year a person in the US produces 744kg of waste a year (or 1640 pounds if you go by that illogical system they use). Meaning the equivalent weight of a car is produced every 2 years by just one person!
Now I know what you are thinking my Aussie brothers and sisters. “Well, that’s America. I’m much better than those American wankers”. Let me comfort you, you are! To be precise you are about 200kg better. The average Australian produces only 540kg of rubbish a year. So, it’s not half a car but it is the weight of a mini caravan every year.
Which means that we’re better, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Even 300kg is not anywhere close to 0 waste, but its still a hell of a lot better than 540kg. If you are here reading this it means that you have already taken at least the first action to improving the problem, which is giving a crap.
So, let us stop wasting your time (pun intended) and get to it. Here are some super easy, simple and effortless ways to make some first steps. If you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, you know that 20% of the actions produce 80% of the results. Let this be our 20%, and after you take those first steps and feel all warm and fuzzy about yourself and what you are doing for this world, I promise you will only want to do more.
- Use reusables!
Simple, and yet, so effective. Coffee cup, lunch box, cutlery, straw, water bottle. Those are the most common ones but honestly, you name it!
Just remember to have it with you. Keep them in your car or your bag!
There are many options, new zero waste brands that make all-natural soaps like these but frankly, these have also existed for so long. We all know them. Just look out for them when you do your supermarket shopping, make sure to support those not wrapped in plastic!
3. Switch to glass bottles and jars instead of plastic and reuse them. Or at least recycle.
“I recycle the plastic one. What is the difference?”, I’m guessing that’s what you just asked yourself. Well, I am glad you asked! Do you know how much of our plastic is really recycled?
I am sure you could guess that it is not all of it.
“Well, then half?”
Again, I am going to disappoint you.
“Alright… so a quarter? 25%. That’s sounds low. C’mon, we can recycle that much.”
Again no. and now it is getting awkward, so I will just lay it on you. According to the latest reports, in Australia, 16% (!!!) of plastic gets recycled. And the worst news is that Australia is better than the rest of the world.
So, when you pick something out from the supermarket, go for glass. If you are one of the slow kids (like the writer of this blog) and you need to double check its plastic, quickly check that no one is looking and give it a tap to make sure.
By the way, when you store your food in plastic containers they break down with time and dissolve into the food you eat which could be cancerous.
Just choose glass, it is better for your health too.
4. Getting takeout? Just come with a container!
You can take some with you from home, or even better, just keep a couple in your car. The food will still taste the same I promise.
5. Stop paying for water.
- Buying a gift? Don’t buy plastic, buy sustainable materials. Have a look at our range for perfect gift ideas!
- Having guests and need disposables? Use biodegradable ones.
We have the perfect alternative to the ordinary plastics! Made from natural materials. Check out our range.
You have probably noticed by now, that the writer of this blog is not a genius. None of these are rocket science. They’re simple and they’re easy but they’ll make a huge difference for our future. They will not change your life, but they will change the lives of your kids.