We often hear about the idea of becoming waste free but frankly we don’t often hear about how to do it. Sure, there is the woman who has managed to put all the waste that she has produced into a jam jar over the last 12 months – but is that really practical?
So what is practical for the average person living in a regional area and how do you get started.
The first thing to do is a waste audit in your home – now before everyone switches off because of the inevitable yuk factor – let me assure you it is not that bad and it is, afterall, your waste and not others. The other issue is that you want to be serious about reducing your waste you have to know what waste you are producing. In turn, the waste you produce depends on your lifestyle choices.
So how do you do a waste audit – pretty simple really. Dump all of your rubbish out and go through it. For each item you find write it on the clipboard. For each recurring item add a tally mark. This will give you a nice visual road map on how to reduce your trash. You can figure out where you can make the biggest impact.
You might want to reduce your waste to zero but the reality is a lot harder than that. There’s a lot of changes that you’ll be making, and it’s important to avoid burn out because it is impossible to go zero waste overnight.
Now, you can start looking for easy zero waste swaps. Always start with the things you’re throwing away most – for two reasons.
- You’ll have make the biggest impact.
- You’re going to an immediate and noticeable difference. We love instant gratification.
While every household will be different, some things that may show up in higher numbers in your bin – and those are the things you should address first with alternatives. It is also worth noting that there are now other disposal options for materials such as soft plastics – remember these can be recycled at many supermarkets these days so bundle them up and take them in when you go shopping.
Your waste probably changes from week to week. Keep checking in on your trash and recycling to see where you can easily improve.
Obviously, there will always be some unavoidable waste. The first thing that pops into my mind is medication. While we might like to see more recyclable or sustainable packaging in this instance – clearly safety and health comes first.