HOME: 12 simple switches for a waste-free home

12 July 2018


One of the simplest ways we can all make a positive change to the health of our planet 
is to reduce our everyday household waste. And even as time-poor families, there are 
many easy switches we can make that don’t cost the earth!

1. Get a stash of reusable water bottles

Over 480 billion plastic bottles were sold in 2016. By 2021, this is expected to rise to 583.3 billion. While they can be recycled, when you buy a reusable water bottle, you’re purchasing something that’s much kinder to the planet and won’t leach nasty chemicals into your drinks like the single-use plastic bottles are known to do.

 kleenkanteen

Klean Kanteen Kid Classic Sport water bottle $28.95

 

2. Invest in reusable straws

Six billion disposable plastic straws are used around the world every day. McDonalds has vowed to remove plastic straws from their UK restaurants. The Queen has rid them from her estates. It’s time to do the same in our own homes and daily habits.

straws

Ever Eco stainless steel straws, 4 pack, $16.95 - $18.95

 

3. Use beeswax wraps for school lunches

A genius invention that we forgot about for a century or so. Our great grandparents were using these before plastic cling film took over as our go-to food storage solution. It’s time to go back to the old school! Beeswax wraps are a safe, hygienic and environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. The fun designs make them perfect for school lunches.

wrappa

3-pack Wrappa beeswax wraps, $35.00

 

4. Compost compost compost

Though food scraps do break down, when food waste breaks down in a landfill environment it becomes the main contributor of methane gas. A typical Brisbane household sends more than 260kg of food to landfill each year. If food waste was stopped in NSW, it would be like taking 117,000 cars off the road!

By running a family compost you can keep the food waste out of the bins and recycle it back into the earth, improving soil conditions in the process.

If you have space in the garden, set up an outdoor compost, this can recycle your food scraps and any garden clippings, and your veggie patch will love it! However, if you don’t have an outdoor space, you can still reduce your food waste with either a worm farm and/or an Indoor Bokashi composting bin.

compost

 

5. Try cloth nappies

Disposable nappies are the third largest consumer item in landfill! And it takes hundreds of years for conventional nappies to decompose. 
Cloth nappies have come a long way in 
recent years and are now available in gorgeous patterns and prints, easy-to-use styles, 
and simpler-than-ever care instructions.

nappies

Designer Bums cloth nappies, $34.95

 

6. Do the family shop with reusable shopping bags

On average, a plastic bag is used for 12 minutes and takes 1,000 years to break down. With Woolies and Coles committed to phasing plastic bags out of their stores, it’s time to say goodbye to plastic and hello to eco chic reusables.

dharma

Dharma Door Pacific Shopper, $36.00

 

7. Don't stop at reusable shopping bags…

Get some reusable produce bags too! Transporting and keeping food stored in plastic produce bags suffocates it and speeds up the decay process. Reusable produce bags come in breathable mesh and cotton designs that not only help you ditch the single-use plastic, but also care for your food.

ever eco netted bag

Ever Eco netted cotton shopping bag, short handle, $12.95

ever eco mesh bags

4-pack Ever Eco Recycled rPet mesh produce bags, $13.95

 

8. Switch to eco 
scrubbing brushes

When mainstream plastic scrubbing brushes and sponges become worn and brittle, pieces of them break off and send micro plastic pollution down our drains, into our water systems. Eco scrubbing brushes are they answer and they’re so much nicer to use!

dishbrush

Eco Max non-stick pan brush, $10.95

 

9. Try bamboo toothbrushes

Plastic toothbrushes are among the top offenders found in beach clean ups across Australia and Indonesia. They also cause recycling confusion and more often than not, make their way straight to landfill where 
they’ll take 500 years to break down.

There are some gorgeous bamboo toothbrushes available today, some also with different coloured bristles so you can keep 
your family colour-coding on point.

toothbrush

Bamboo Toothbrush, Adult Medium, Blue, $6.45

Bamboo Toothbrush, Kids Ultra Soft, White, $6.45

 

10. Rethink food storage

While it may seem safe to allow our food to be stored in plastic, new research on the chemicals found in plastic suggests we should be more careful. Stainless steel is the safer option for our kids and our planet.

bento box
Ever Eco Bento Snack Box, $22.95

 

11. Reusable baby wipes

Did you know there was such a thing? They’re a hassle-free and easy alternative to disposable baby wipes that are healthy for baby, safe for the environment, and better for 
your wallet!

baby wipes

Cheeky Wipes, Reusable Baby Wipes Trial Pack, $39.95

 

12. Keep cups

It is estimated Australians waste about 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. A reusable coffee cup is a simple way to do your bit towards reducing that statistic. 
(Plus, the coffee tastes 
waaaaay better!)

keepcup

Frank Green Stainless Steel Smartcup, $39.95

 


Tihs article is sponsored by The Clean Collective.

 

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
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