Based on comprehensive research, most plastic items that you have touched in your lifetime are still WHOLE and sitting in either landfill or floating in our oceans, right now.
If you go back and think about how many plastic items you have been in contact with throughout your lifetime, it gets scary to think ALL OF IT is still sitting or floating around - somewhere.
Shopping smarter and making better choices can bring a great change here with little effort. Even the smallest acts can help us reduce landfill at home and create a lasting positive impact on our overpopulated planet.
Plan your meals. This will help you lessen your food waste and maximize the use of your ingredients. What can help you more is preparing a weekly menu plan - we have found some wonderful resources to help you with this.
Store and use your leftovers in glass containers as much as possible. You will end up wasting less food, and reduce landfill significantly. You’d be surprised how much of our landfill could degrade naturally if it had been treated properly and composted or given exposure to anaerobic bacteria.
Food Co ops are Your Friend
There are dozens and dozens of food cooperatives and group buying schemes starting up online every single day. Facebook groups are one of the best sources of these buying groups. Group buying power means better prices, often times local only produce and almost zero packaging.
Think about it this way - cardboard trays of produce are divided up into more cardboard boxes that are reused weekly and the trays sent back to the producers or recycled. Where is the waste? Save money and save on packaging pressure on landfill by forming or joining local food buying groups. Its well worth it, trust us.
Avoid Plastic Bags Like the Plague
Plastic bags are one of the single biggest pollutants in the Western World.
The whole idea of a 'use once, throw it away' bag has meant devastating pollution in our waterways and huge impact on our landfill sites.
There are loads of beautiful cloth bags out there, tonnes of online tutorials to make your own quickly and easily and more and more retailers are going back to paper bags.
Take responsibility for yourself and your foot print - just say no.
Really - there IS no excuse anymore. Every single plastic bag you have ever touched is still in existence somewhere. It may have been recycled into a woven shopping bag (the green ones at the supermarket) however, after that it can not be recycled again and will still end up as landfill.
Think about it. Just say no.
Avoid Unwoven Shopping Bags
- If you have some of these bags (you know, the colored ones that feel like cloth but are not woven that you buy from supermarkets?) already, then use them until they fall apart. If you don’t have any, then AVOID AVOID AVOID.
These bags are made from recycled plastic bags which on the one hand is great. On the other hand, once plastic bags are recycled ONE TIME they still have to go back to landfill. These non-woven bags will all end up in landfill as they can not be recycled again. They are not a solution to the problem with plastics - they are a band aid and will be another source of landfill pressure in the future.
Reuse Reuse Reuse
Reuse old metal jars, bottles and cans for your household storing needs. You will find a lot of ideas on the World Wide Web. Take creative ideas from there on how to reuse things. For example, you can use tin cans, boxes and jars for storing stationery items like pens, pencils, etc.
Store homemade stock in wine bottles. Use jars for yogurt making, storing herbs and spices, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Make toys with kids. Give items to your local child care centres to use in crafts. Make garden sculptures out of glass jars and glass plates. The sky is the limit and the Earth will thank you for your efforts, 10, 20 years from now.
Avoid Excessive Packaging When Shopping
When you are buying convenient items, make sure they are packed sensibly; paper is best, glass is also good. Avoid plastics whenever you can as currently most plastics in Australia are NOT being recycled as there are no buyers for recycled plastics right now. Its a market - people have to BUY the plastics to recycle and the demand has dropped due to oversupply. This is a serious issue that is being hidden from the public, however, if you speak to your local landfill operators, they will tell you the same as we have. Its bad news for Australian landfills and for the planet as plastics are choking our water tables and filling landfill sites around the country faster and faster every day.
Always choose items with less packaging, or look at buying items like nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits in bulk. Bring your own produce bags or used paper bags. Buy in glass as much as you can and make as much from scratch at home as possible.
Every little bit you AVOID putting into landfill DOES make a difference!
Every little bit of plastic you touched still exists - in full - somewhere in this world. That makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?
As far as landfill is concerned, out of sight is NOT out of mind… we only think it is.