And you can too!
Has anyone else been watching The War on Waste with Craig Reucassel on ABC?
I have been absolutely glued to it; heartbroken to see the impacts of our waste and shocked at how slow we are at doing something about it.
So, while I’ll also be sharing a passionate email to my list tomorrow morning (you can sign up here), I thought I would share all of the ways that I reduce my waste in my home (as well as a few others that might be helpful). If you can come up with any I’ve missed, share them with everyone in the comments section below.
Here we go!
- I buy my fresh produce from the market and pop it straight into my reusable bags. Even if I do shop elsewhere, I never use plastic bags to store my produce, but if I do need a bag, I might pinch one of the paper bags that are usually set aside for mushrooms 😉
- We compost any scraps that I can’t feed to my chooks
- We use that compost to feed our veggies in our patch
- We also buy horse poo from a local girl who is saving up to buy a saddle and they come in reused produce bags.
- We reuse the produce bags from the horse poo to store sawdust from Blake’s business (he is an arborist) for the chickens beds
- Blake mills timber that he cuts down through his business (Advanced Arboriculture), which he sells for people to make furniture out of, instead of taking it to the tip. It’s come in handy for us, because any garden steaks have been made from recycled bamboo, and he’s made a bench that just looks beautiful out of one of the slabs. We even have chopping boards that he makes out of timber rounds and pieces that look great for serving food on, but are also really handy for chopping food on. You can check him out here and send him an email if you’re interested in the timber. From memory there is currently huge slabs of mango, silky oak, swamp cypress, norfolk island pine and poinciana.
- He also gives mulch and bamboo stakes to a local gardening charity (top bloke!)
- I buy Ziggy’s dog food from a local company that source local produce and use compostable containers that we put in our compost bin, called Woah Nelly. (It’s actually stopped his farts from being so smelly too – win-win!)
- We buy our staple foods in bulk, bringing our own jars to store the pastes and oils straight away instead of in plastic containers.
- We reuse paper bags we get any foods in to store veggies or fruit in the fridge if needed.
- We use bones from red meat and chicken carcasses and a week’s worth of veggie scraps to make our broths.
- We buy only organic meat from the market and they usually give us free dogs bones from the part of the animal they can’t usually sell
- I naturally (always have) wear my clothes until they absolutely fall apart, and even then, I’m keeping a stock up of these to turn into smaller reusable produce bags (hopefully I’ll get some time to do this soon). I often
like playing the game of how-old-is-the-oldest-piece-of-clothing-I’m-wearing game with my friends because I have clothes I’ve worn for up to 10 years that are still going!
- I don’t buy clothes very often, but make mindful choices to only buy clothes I know I’ll wear until they fall apart. I’m looking for more locally based clothing now too, but buy a lot of second hand from op shops and SWOP in West End.
- I only buy basics in natural fibres (no plastic-based fabrics) such as the Boody range of leggings, basics, socks, knickers and bras (and soon active wear I’m told – yay!), wool, cotton and hemp are other natural options, but bamboo grows quickly in less space than other crops (which is why it makes great toilet paper too) and keeps me warm in winter, cool in summer, and I find them super comfy. I wont wear anything else.
- On the topic of toilet paper, I’ve been buying Who Gives A Crap bamboo toilet paper, tissues and paper towel for our home, and reuse the paper they wrap the toilet paper and paper towel to wrap gifts because it’s super pretty! Click here to get $10 off your first order
- We reuse glass jars like our lives depend on it. The only drinking glasses we have are old jars and we store all our staples (including our extensive cupboard of herbs and spices) in old jars. I even rescued some giant jars from a friend who was no longer using them to store the big staples we use heaps of.
- I take home the organic juice pulp and coffee grounds from my work to compost it as often as I can. (Luckily, there is someone else who does this so it’s ok if I miss a day). I highly recommend that you offer to do this at your local cafe if they don’t already compost – they are both really good for the compost bin and you’ll prevent so much from going into landfill.
- We wash our recyclable items and take the lids off so that they can be recycled properly. I’ve heard that they wont recycle items if they aren’t clean and the lids are on.
- If we do get food in a plastic bag, we wash it and use it again until it looks funky, then we recycle it at the supermarket (apparently only Coles is good for this – thank you War On Waste)
- We grow our own produce from seeds that come in paper envelopes to further reduce our reliance on food in plastic bags. We feed the weeds in our garden to the chickens and make sure there are plenty of flowers in the garden for our bees (currently our calendulas are flowering and their bright yellow and beautiful).
- I bring my own glass drink bottle (either an old passata bottle or an old organic apple juice bottle) with my filtered water to work
- Now that we have replaced a lot of our old cookware with ceramic cookware from Neoflam, we have potted plants in old pots (and my favourite, but now broken, mug)
- I use envelopes from bills to make shopping lists and to do lists rather than new paper
- We keep any leftovers for lunches and freeze them if we don’t think we’ll get to them the next day
- Blake made us some beeswax wraps for storing food from beeswax from our own beehive – these are something you can buy, but he’s a very crafty dude
- We reused hard plastic our yoga mats were wrapped in and coconut milk cartons and cut them into labels for our seedling trays
- We reused old pallets we rescued from businesses no longer using them to make our seedling greenhouse and our compost bin
- We rescued the floor of an old shed from Northern Brisbane to make a workshop for Blake under the house (this also has a lot of old pallets in it)
- We wash our clothes with soap berries in a cloth bag and a little essential oil only which cuts down massively on the packaging for soaps and works well even on Blake’s smelly, oily work gear.