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09 August 2017

How to reduce your waste habits to fight climate change

Everyone has the ability to fight climate change by reducing their waste habits. Even the most simple daily changes can make a big impact. Below are 12 ways you can reduce your waste habits to fight climate change.
  1. Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk is an easy way to reduce your consumption of single use packaging. Swap your pre-packaged supermarket items for bulk wholesale purchases. When visiting your bulk wholesaler, remember to pack in your reusable containers and jars, and only buy what you need. This simple lifestyle change will significantly reduce your annual household contribution to landfill.
  2. Reduce food waste: Australians waste approximately $10 billion in food every year. Reduce your household food waste by setting weekly meal plans and only buy food you need for the week. Eat leftovers for lunch or turn them into another meal. Keep food in your fridge and pantry fresher for longer by storing it correctly in food storage containers and bags.
  3. Use reusable shopping bags: Plastic bags are one of Australia’s largest environmental hazards with over 3.92 billion plastic bags used and disposed each year. Using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic disposable ones will greatly reduce your contribution to landfill.
  4. Reduce food miles: When buying food, try to reduce your food miles as much as possible by purchasing direct from your local farmer. Where possible, avoid purchasing pre-packaged food and opt for buying in bulk from a local wholesaler. Reduce your use of single use plastics by using reusable containers to store your purchases.
  5. Stop using plastic food wrap: Plastic food wrap is one of the most wasteful products used in kitchens. This single use plastic destine for landfill uses valuable natural resources to produce and releases numerous toxic chemicals in production, transport and disposal. Durable containers, reusable food covers and beeswax wraps are eco-friendly alternatives that will reduce your use of plastic food wrap.
  6. Recycle what you can: The recycling service offered by most local councils is a great environmentally friendly initiative that makes it easy for every household to reduce their contribution to landfill. Keep a separate bin in your kitchen for recyclables and regularly sort out your general waste from your recycling. Contact your local council if you are unsure of what to recycle to ensure you place your waste in the correct bins provided.
  7. Use toxin-free cleaning products: Chemicals are in numerous household products from shampoo and soap to detergent and toilet cleaner. Switching to nontoxic environmentally friendly cleaning products will reduce the number of chemicals you use in your home and will support a healthier environment. An affordable alternative is to make your own from natural ingredients. This will ensure you know exactly what is in each product and you can avoid the nasty chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products.
  8. Repair, swap or donate: Try repairing broken or worn objects before replacing them. This will not only save you money but will prevent functioning items being sent to landfill. If you need to replace an item you might have outgrown or simply don’t require anymore, try swapping it or donating it.
  9. Grow your own produce: From edible flowers and herbs to vegetables and fruit trees, it is possible for everyone to grow their own produce regardless of the size of their backyard, balcony or home. If you live in an apartment and don’t have access to a backyard, try growing smaller plants and vegetables in pots on your balcony or kitchen windowsill, and join a community garden to grow larger produce. If you have a backyard, dedicate a small section to planting edible plants. Growing your own produce will significantly reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the food miles of the produce you consume.
  10. Switching to LED lighting: Replace old incandescent, halogen or compact fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. They have a longer lifespan, consume less energy per lumen produced, and do not emit UV radiation. Switching to LED lighting will reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.
  11. Eat less meat: The meat industry contributes around 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Try reducing your weekly meat consumption by having one meat free day each week. Take part in Meat Free Monday and opt for plant-based meals more regularly.
  12. Be thoughtful about your wardrobe : The production of clothing has a big impact on the climate, especially with the sudden increase in fast fashion production. When purchasing clothing, try to avoid buying new items and opt for purchasing second hand items or swapping clothing with family and friends. If you do need to buy brand new, buy ethically made clothing from environmentally friendly materials.
Related: The environmental impact of plastic straws; The true environmental costs of disposable coffee cupsTop environmental documentaries to watch

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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