01 Mar Health & Wellbeing Newsletter – March 2022
March Health and Wellbeing News – Reduce Waste
Clean up our waste
Australia’s waste challenges continue to grow! Now, more than ever, it’s time to step up and support solutions which move us towards a “circular economy” – where everything is a resource, and there is no such thing as waste.
Australians produce 540kg of household waste per person, each year. That’s more than 10kg for every single person, every single week. Of the estimated 67 million tonnes of waste Australians generated in 2017, just 37 was recycled, leaving 21.7 disposed of in landfill. It’s estimated about 130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic ends up in our waterways and oceans each year.
What can you do?
Check out the top actions you can take today:
- Buy products that last: It is tempting to buy a cheap product. If it only lasts half as long as the product that costs twice as much, you can replace the product and be no worse off financially. But the resources used in two cheap products will cost our planet around twice as much as those used in the one more expensive product.
- Avoid single use items: There are so many alternatives! You know the drill by now: remember your shopping bag every time, get a reusable coffee cup, say no to a straw and remember your refillable water bottle.
- Repair when possible: If you have bought a good quality product it is more likely that it will be worth repairing. Sometimes you can even repair it yourself. YouTube videos are marvellous for learning how. And tools can sometimes be borrowed from community tool libraries.
- Buy recycled: Buy products that have been designed for end of life. Some manufacturers have a product stewardship program in place. This means that you can return the product to them at the end of its life for recycling. Some clothing chains are now offering this and it is particularly helpful for furniture and carpets in office fit-outs.
- Buy previously-used products: Let’s redefine the word ‘fashionable’ to mean taking care of the planet, and we can do this by being proud of second-hand clothing. Buy vintage, use online exchanges or resale platforms and participate in organised clothes-swap ‘swishing events’.
- Improve your recycling: Are you really as good as you think you are? Learn how to really get your recycling act together…
- CheckoutGREENIUS: Greenius is a free, online learning platform that takes the confusion out of recycling.
- Know your local recycling rules: Check out your local council’s website. Chances are, they’ll have an entire section devoted to their waste management program. There, you’ll find out exactly what your community accepts.
- Keep it clean: Small amounts of food don’t interfere with the glass and steel recycling process – just scrape all the solid food scraps out of jars and cans and give your bottles and containers a rinse to remove excess debris. However greasy, oily, or food-contaminated paper can’t be recycled – so either remove the soiled portion or throw it all out.
- Keep it loose: Don’t bag or tie your recyclables. Just keep them loose.