Back in January I talked about my goals to reduce our household waste. So I thought I would do a little recap and see where we are at.
We have been doing okay with this in general, though there are some areas we could improve in:
- We have not been as good on plastic bags as I would like, but we are recycling them instead of throwing them out as we used to do. It’s mostly an issue because I ensure I go for a walk at lunchtimes and often do some household shopping then and I don’t always remember to go to my car to get the eco bag first. Definitely something I need to work on habit wise.
- Meal planning has also gone out the window for us for the most part just due to different crazy life things going on. I try to do it in my head a bit, obviously this is nowhere near as good as if I were doing it properly though so I really need to make an effort with this. Not only is it better for reducing waste, but it is also kinder on our wallets and better for our health because when I plan we end up with healthy well rounded meals.
Things we have done include:
- I have done research into some of the things we buy and try to only buy items that have recyclable packaging (harder than you might think – though the redcycle program at Coles has helped a lot).
- When it comes to items like egg cartons which are recyclable I will also look for opportunities for reuse. For instance our library storytime sometimes uses egg cartons for craft. In fact I found a flower craft recently for Mother’s Day that I sent through as a suggestion that uses egg cartons. This will mean that all staff’s egg cartons will be donated for the next few weeks to be used to create Mother’s Day gifts rather than being thrown out or recycled.
There are so many fun crafts you can do with egg cartons that I am actually going to save that for another post I think 🙂
- Though we do not want junk mail it seems to keep magically appearing so I use the elastic bands from them on my frozen veggie bags once open to reduce the chance of freezer burn and recycle the junk mail. It’s only a little thing I know, but I also feel that that thought and little effort if magnified by many certainly counts.
I also found out that my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes further bush than me doesn’t get junk mail at all so I now keep them for her and she recycles them after use.
- When we next needed rice I bought a 5kg bag. Every one that sees it thinks I am crazy and it does take up a lot of room, but I used to buy the 500gram packet so I am literally saving 10 plastic packages and it saved me a BUNCH of money!
We may not have sugar in our house, but if you need a cup of rice I am definitely your girl
- At work I have noticed that I have naturally become a lot more conscious of recycling and providing opportunities for people to learn more sustainable habits. No matter how small the scraps are now (from cutting out or whatever) I will put them in the paper recycling bin. I have also gotten into the habit of checking the staff paper recycling next to the internal printer for scrap paper as this is always in high demand at the library.
Our Council has business card sized laminated signs with a cute cartoon of a light bulb reminding people to turn off switches. I have ordered some of these to place above the switches in our study areas as people often leave these on. I have also convinced Council to add recycling bins into all the libraries and centres (gyms and pools) which is amazing!!!
I also had a chat with the guy from Council who runs eco programs like creating sustainable gardens, building terrariums and composting at home. It started with me offering to promote his programs in the library particularly on our social media sites. He was super excited about this and we are now talking about him possibly running some programs at the libraries which is amazing because we get a whole new slew of programs whilst our resource output would be minimal and we would be collaborating and networking with a whole new area of Council so I am pretty excited about this possibility 🙂
It was great for me to discover that I was able to make a difference at work as well as at home.
What changes have you made or do you suggest I make?
May 2nd, 2017 at 12:46 pm
What if you keep one of the reusable bags with your purse or wallet at work? Then it will be right there and you don’t have to go to your car to get it. Just a thought!
May 25th, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Oooh that’s a good idea. I think I maybe have on of those purse collapsible ones somewhere. I will have to look. Thanks! 🙂
May 2nd, 2017 at 5:17 pm
Hey, nice work! I find it hard to remember the shopping bags too. I always try to recycle the ones I have if I get plastic but still, it would be nice to remember the reusable ones I have gone to the trouble to purchase lol
Love that collaboration with Council. Go you!!
May 25th, 2017 at 5:04 pm
Thank you. 🙂
It really shouldn’t be as hard as it is for me to remember the bags. Years of habit I guess 🙂
May 18th, 2017 at 8:07 pm
That all sounds really good! I have a cloth material reusable bag that I keep rolled up in my purse for any spontaneous shopping. It doesn’t fit that much but normally saves me from having to buy another plastic bag
May 25th, 2017 at 5:06 pm
Great idea. I really have to find one of those I bought or someone gave me that rolls up. It was really good.
May 23rd, 2017 at 11:59 am
This is great! (Hello, yes I am finally back from the dead and catching up with my friends!!!) I think you’ve done amazing. I really like the egg carton flowers – cute! I use mine for plant propagation and I think they’ll come in really handy for seedlings come spring. We’re planning on growing a lot of our fruit and veg soon so hopefully we’ll cut down drastically on what we need to get from the shops. We also plan on composting because we generate a lot of fresh food waste (peels and cores etc). Obviously in this can go things like paper, cardboard etc so maybe an idea for some of that junk mail and envelopes?
May 25th, 2017 at 5:08 pm
Thanks so much!
I think I will be using mine for plant propagation very soon as I plan my veggie garden 🙂 Such a great use for them 🙂
I have thought of home composting. Especially because we have a large yard so there are a lot of grass clippings. Definitely warrants more though.
Loving the sound of your garden though!!!