With the ban on plastic bags in major supermarkets, in just 3 months Australia saved 1.5 billion single use plastic bags from ending up in landfill!! Woohoo! Although this is a great start, there’s plenty of other simple things we can all do to reduce our environmental footprint.
Here are some ideas to help you go beyond the plastic bag ban and live a more ec0-friendly life…..
Reduce your consumption everyday
Hands up who needs a daily hit of espresso?! By purchasing reusable products such as coffee cups, drink bottles, napkins, straws and cutlery sets, you will be reducing your footprint significantly! Think of all those coffee cups over a month and how many plastic water bottles we throw away. Not to mention all the packaging waste that comes with take away food and eating on the run. Buy a good quality shopping bag made of natural materials (or a giant handbag!) to carry all of your reusable goodies around with you.
Here are some great websites for inspiration:
Buy locally grown and produced products
Do you shop at local farmers markets or hit up the South Melbourne Market on the weekends? What about going to a bulk food store? If you have options to get Australian produce into your hands sans packaging, this makes everything so much better! By supporting local small business and purchasing produce from local markets and independent stores, not only are you supporting your community, but you can reduce your environmental impact. By using your reusable shopping and produce bags at markets and bulk food stores, you limit the need for plastic packaging and do your bit towards saving our ocean life.
Can you think of ways to reuse products once you’ve finished with them? Or maybe keep an eye out for ingenious businesses who are coming up with solutions to reuse products? I have recently seen a company making surfboards with the filler made from unwanted plastics. And another who uses pre-loved denim jeans/jackets to create tote shopping bags. A circular economy is a sustainable model that anticipates and designs for resources to be either safely returned to nature or back into systems where they can be reused or renewed.
Reduce your impact on landfill
By buying reusable products you’re on your way to reducing your waste impact. You can also look at what you are and aren’t recycling, you may be surprised what is recyclable nowadays. Look for the little triangle on all packaging to see if it is eligible for kerbside recycling.
For many plastic products that can’t be recycled kerbside, Terracycle and REDcycle are two great initiatives to get behind.
Terracycle is a company that assists consumers to recycle beauty products such as makeup and skin care products that can’t be recycled kerbside. They have a Beauty Products Recycling Program and Mailing Satchel Recycling Program to assist with disposal of these common products most of us keep in our homes.
REDcycle is another initiative found near the checkouts at most supermarkets (our nearest one is Coles Port Melbourne). These bins are for soft plastic wrappers and bags that can’t be recycled kerbside, such as bread bags, cereal box liners, biscuit wrappers and other plastic wrapping.
Every little bit counts! At PMPP we are trying to reduce our waste by no longer having plastic cups available for water (please bring your own bottle), emailing receipts rather than printing them, and having several recycling bins across the clinic. We use environmentally friendly essential oil diffusers rather than air freshener spray and are in the process of changing over our reformer cleaning system. We are transitioning from antibacterial wipes to our own cleaning spray made from essential oils, combined with reusable cloths. If you think of any other ideas we are yet to think of please drop us a line!