If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know we have made the leap from being avid recyclers and generally eco-aware to aiming for zero waste. It all started here and slowly but surely it has made its mark on the whole household. And it’s not just us; going zero waste is becoming an increasingly popular movement.
Let’s face it. This is a noble cause but faaark is it daunting! Have a peek in your wheelie bin. Go on. I dare you to have a rummage. Nose peg and a long stick are permissable. Even an empty bin stinks in the heat of Queensland What you will probably notice is that the vast majority of your rubbish has come from the kitchen.
So if the kitchen makes the most waste, the kitchen is going to be the best place to start to quickly make a difference to the amount of waste leaving your home. Stands to reason, right?
If you can bear to look a little closer, you’ll see your kitchen waste can be mostly divided into two categories: food packaging and food waste. Let’s tackle packaging first.
Reducing food packaging
The easiest way to reduce the volume of food packaging you throw out is to reduce the amount of food packaging you buy in the first place.
*look in your pantry and take note of the items you commonly buy packaged, then go online and find recipes to make these items yourself. For me, this is crackers and muesli bars hence my current quest to discover the perfect muesli bar recipe. I know it’s out there…somewhere…
*cook from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals or take-away. It’s cheaper and healthier too! Keep a treat night if it’s important to you, but challenge yourself to reduce waste even then if you can 😉
*buy fruits and vegetables loose rather than in plastic. Personally I just load my basket up with loose fruit and veg, but you could take your own lightweight bags to put your apples and carrots in.
*grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
*when buying things like cereal, buy in larger sized packs to reduce overall packaging.
*think about joining or creating a co-op to buy your produce and dry goods in bulk. It costs less and creates less waste.
*where you have to buy packaged, choose plastic free brands so you can at least recycle. Look for cardboard (preferably recycled) or glass.
*take your own containers and buy your dry goods from the bulk bins in health food grocers like Wray Organics or The Source. Hand them over before filling them so the sales assistant can TARE them for you. Make sure they are clean and dry for hygiene reasons.
In my next post I’ll share my tips for reducing food wastage.
Did I miss any of your packaging reduction tips?
Remember recycling should be our last resort, not our first stop, when it comes to reducing waste.