We are used to showering for no longer than 3 minutes. We buy low energy consumption household appliances. We switch off our power at the wall when we go to bed. We install solar panels to save power. We put all junk mail into recyclable bin (lots of junk mail). We laundry only full load on max 40 degrees. Why do we do this all? Because we are trying to protect NATURE. We do not ask ourselves why. We do it all because we care about our suburb, our country, our planet!!! But do we really?
Are we doing enough to save our planet from being covered in rubbish and waste that we generate? On average every Australian generates 2,2 tonnes of domestic waste a year. Can you imagine how big that pile of waste is? Maybe 10 meters high? And that’s per person per year! Now do your maths and you will be shocked!
I personally was so annoyed with our household when every week our bins were overfilled and the lids would not fully close up. I did not understand where all this waste was coming from. Of course I do know where it all comes from. It comes from the world of consumption, promotion and “buy 1 get 2nd free” places. I started analysing our habits and firmly decided I want to live differently. I want to minimise my household waste, although ideally I would love to get rid of it all together. So, this is what I have done so far:
1. Plastic bags. You would agree with me that this is the biggest waste of this world. Why do we keep using plastic bags in the shops when all civilised countries have already banned it. I bought a number of canvas bags, re-usable bags and always have a few in my handbag for occasional shopping. That’s minus 1000 plastic bags per year for my household.
2. Packaging. I stopped buying pre-packaged food. All those foam trays and plastic wrapping is a complete waste. I use my canvas bags to buy fruit and veggie. I also buy various bulk products in a shop where they give you paper bags to fill with nuts, cereals and flour. There is one in Willetton if you are interested.
3. Old kids clothes. Give your beloved clothes that your kids do not fit in to your friends, they will really appreciate it. Do not throw it in the bin.
4. Unnecessary household objects. We do have stuff we do not use and most of the time we throw it in the bin. DON’T! Take it to Salvos stores. It’s a great place to get rid of still good but not necessary goods. I have picked up a few very cute dinning plates for the coming big party at our house there. That was just a few dollars. Recommend!
5. Clothes and shoes. I buy it only when I really need it. Do not overfill your walk in robe with STUFF that was on sale, cheap or “I do not have this color in my wardrobe yet” kind of purchases. You will still be wearing the most comfortable shoes and the most easy to take care of clothes.
6. Kids toys. Kids toys library is a great thing. You save money and you can afford changing your toys as often as you like. There is one in Leeming, Gosnells and Willetton. Google it!
7. Recycling. I always rinse all containers and remove food scraps before throwing my recyclable waste into the bin. Only put loose items in. No plastic bags are allowed in the recyclable bin. Canning city recycles plastics 1 to 5. Check the marking on the back of the plastic containers. Check other Council recycling rules and follow them. You can even recycle your used foil (which was a surprise to me).
8. Food scraps. Oh yes, we love our food. We generate tons of food scraps that start eating up our space on the planet. We now have a WORMERY, or a Worm Café. Most of our food scraps go in there. These small but hard working creatures are eating for 23 hours and reproducing for 1 hour to make me the most beautiful fertiliser for our tomatoes and roses. It costed us a little to start it up (we bought ours in Bunnings) but so be it.
9. Alkaline batteries. No, you cannot put your used alkaline batteries in your yellow bin! I take mine to work where they have a collection point for them. You can take yours to the closest Battery World shop or drop them at the Radford Road Waste Transfer station.
10. And finally, do not buy disposable plastic tableware. If you love having big parties in your house, like we do, stock up your long lasting plates, glasses, folks and knives. You can buy durable plastic ones that look great and will serve you for life.
You know what, my bins are closing up now! I wrote this article to trigger some thinking. I do not expect that I can change the world overnight. However, if it makes some people think about what they can do to lower the 10 meter pile to 5 meters, then our country and the Planet will become cleaner. Let’s make small efforts and achieve big results!
Everyone can make a difference!