Avoiding being wasteful can have great social benefits, help protect the environment and stop valuable land from being turned into landfill. It is estimated that for every garbage bin your household fills, about 70 garbage bins of resources were used to produce the rubbish you are now sending to landfill. The rubbish will then take up valuable space in landfill and emit greenhouse gases as it decomposes slowly over many years. The below tips will get you started.
Top ten ways to cut your household waste
- Refuse plastic bags and remember to bring your own re-useable bags from home instead.
- Rehome. Use op-shops or sites like Gumtree and Freecycle to re-home unwanted household items from clothes to collectables and puzzles to plants.
- Recycle. We all know how to recycle, but some items can be tricky. Batteries, mobile phones, fluorescent lights and old appliances can all be recycled. Visit Recycling Near You or contact your local Council to find out how.
- Rethink how you dispose of rubbish while you are out of the house. Littering is never okay. Take your rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly at home.
- Rot. About half of the waste we send to landfill can be safely composted at home using a worm farm or bokashi bucket. You’ll be saving loads of greenhouse gas emissions and you’ll get back nutrients that you can use on your garden. Switch your thinking's Rewards for Residents program provides discounts on compost bins, bokashi buckets and worm farms through select suppliers. Find out more here.
- Return the nutrients from your garden clippings back to the earth by composting or mulching, your plants will thank you and you’ll save money using this natural fertiliser.
- Request your free Switch your thinking ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker for your letter box (available to Perth residents only). In Australia, 8.2 billion articles of junk mail are produced every year. If you’re not reading it, stop receiving it.
- Reduce the amount of chemicals and plastic waste in your home by making your own natural cleaners. Mix one part water with one part vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice for an effective all-purpose cleaner.
- Reuse, not single use. Switch to re-usable water bottles and coffee mugs instead of the throw-away alternative. Switch your thinking's Rewards for Residents program offers a 10% discount on Keep Cups purchased through Environment House. Find out more here.
- Repurpose. Before throwing it away, think of how it can be put to use a different way. Old clothes and linen make great dusting rags, chipped coffee cups make great indoor plant pots and an old suitcase can even be repurposed as a dog bed!