We all want to cut down on our family waste, but sometimes it all just seems too hard!
We truly believe that small habits make big impact in the world, which is why our motto is Progress, Not Perfection! A step in the right direction leads to more and more steps – we know this, because our family has not put anything in our kitchen bin for a month due to small, easy changes!
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. One change WILL make a difference – even if it’s just to that one turtle in the ocean – let’s call him Tommy. Tommy survived today because he ate a jellyfish instead of a plastic bag and he appreciates your every step in the right direction.
But let’s not try and be perfect, because if we’re really honest, most of us will just give up if it gets too hard. Here are 5 very easy ways you can cut down on waste and increase your sustainability factor – and the best thing is you don’t need any fancy supplies!
1. Re-use your zip-loc bags
I know you use them for convenience, so this may seem like hard work. But seriously, this will not only be good for your conscience, but it will be kind on your hip pocket also. These bags are thick enough to take quite a few washings – and when all you’ve done is transport a couple of pieces of bread to work for breakfast you’d be silly not to wash and re-use.
2. Say no to straws
It takes up to 200 years for a straw to break down, and most types cannot be recycled. When we say “break down” – plastic never really goes away, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller micro-plastics and ends up in our water system, fish and by some reports – our drinking water, according to a study by Orb Media, over 80% of water sources tested across 5 continents contained plastic fibres – that’s your drinking water – is a straw really worth it?
If you really can’t give up your straw, consider purchasing a re-useable straw to carry around with you, you can get some great bamboo straws from Biome
3. BYO Coffee Cup
Australians use over 1 billion single use coffee cups a year. Start small…sit down for at least 1 of your takeaway coffees this week – you might actually enjoy it instead of rushing on your way. If you can’t afford the time, try and remember to take one with you, they don’t have to be expensive – I use a mason jar with a cheap lid, you can even get them for smoothies if that is your vice. Yes, this one takes a bit of effort but it’s worth it.
And, don’t forget the kids – now is the time to teach them life-long habits so grab them a spare keep-cup for their hot chocolate or baby cino!
4. Wash your Chux or kitchen cloths
Now that we have been washing these for a year or so, I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner – imagine how much money I could have saved! Though these cloths seem ‘cheap’ they are expensive for the environment, taking resources to create and of course they are not recyclable – but they are washable! You can wash them many times before they need to be thrown out.
5. Buy in bulk
You know those single serve yoghurts? I want you to give them up. Let’s think bulk instead. Buying a large pot of yoghurt will not only use less plastic – you’ll save a lot of money too (have you checked the price difference on those? Ouch!). Once you start thinking this way about everything, you’ll find you’re saving money and it’s not so much of an effort to decant into containers or reusable bags like these.
So, I hope you’re feeling less overwhelmed and more like there is a way forward with this sustainability business. Maybe pick one or two of the above and try and integrate them into your week. Once you’ve been doing them for a few weeks they will become less like a chore and more just part of the daily routine and you might like to add a few more.
Small steps lead to big change and remember, progress, not perfection.