There’s some people out there who can collect all of the rubbish they create in one month and keep it in one mason jar. Maybe this is because they’re millennials and probably from Yarraville, or maybe they’re on to something.
As a 21 year old who is clueless about the real world and just officially moved out into her very own apartment with her equally clueless girlfriend, I decided to do some research on how these people are living trash-free lives. Sure, I know that landfills are a bad thing. I know the basics of recycling: yes to paper, no to plastic bags, so on and so forth. But did you know that you need to take the lids off of bottles to recycle them? I didn’t.
So, I googled it, and put together a handy list of ways I’m going to try to live a trash free life. Even if I take it one step at a time.
- Start a Worm Farm (or be cute and call it a Worm Cafe)
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, decomposing organic waste in landfills make a considerable contribution to global warming. This is because of the gases (like methane) that are released. I don’t have a huge garden to compost, but I can fit a worm farm inside. Instead of throwing your food waste into the trash can, just chop it up into small worm-bite sized pieces and let them take care of it for you. You’ll be rewarded with an amazing (free) fertiliser that your pot plants will love, (or give it as a gift to your hippy friend).
- Recycle Your Soft Plastics
Did you know that you actually can recycle soft plastics like shopping bags, candy wrappers, liners of cereal boxes and all that jazz? The REDcycle program collects the soft plastics from participating Coles and Woolworths branches all over Australia and recycles them to make outdoor furniture for kids. It’s super easy, just collect any of the things found on the list on their website, find a collection near you by searching on their locator, and feel good about what you’ve done. Check it out.
- Buy Naked
I don’t mean shopping without clothes. This idea comes straight from LUSH, they sell “naked” products like shampoo and conditioner bars, solid massage bars and more. This really just means you get the thing without the packaging. You can do this when grocery shopping, steer clear of packaged fruits and veggies and bring a reusable produce bag with you instead. By avoiding packaged frozen foods, you can also opt out of processed foods, test your cooking skills (Jamie Oliver is my hero, but here are some more great recipes I found online) and it’s better for you. Easy as!
- Reusable _ _ _ _ _
Reusable water bottle. Keep cups. Shopping bags. Produce bags. Straws. Take out cutlery. Think about all those single use items that you go through in a week. Doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up and makes a difference. Reusable items are everywhere now, and it’s worth an investment.
Want to buy a reusable tote bag or coffee mug designed by us, The Gal Pals? Here you go!
- Donate Old Clothes
If you read my last post, you know I have an issue with how the fashion industry is affecting our planet. Don’t be that person who buys the same shirt five times and ends up throwing it out after a month. If it’s in good shape, donate it to foundations who give to refugees, the homeless or people affected by poverty, or your good old Op Shop. If they’re really ruined, see if you can reuse the material to make something or give it to someone you know who is crafty like that.
- “Biodegradable” Garbage Bags
- If In Doubt, Check
If you’re about to throw something in the trash because you don’t know if it can be recycled or not, google it. The fact that you’re reading this shows you have the capacity to use the internet to find information. So take a few seconds and try to save the planet.
x – Jess