We all want to do our bit for the planet, and we know we have a huge waste problem that just gets worse every year. But the thought of being 'waste free' is super stressful - where would we even begin!?
I'm here to say that a few small changes in our daily behaviour will make a huge impact on our environment. So let me show you a few easy tips to help you wage the war on waste at home.
Plastic ain't fantastic
Of course, the best way to reduce your waste is to cut back on your plastic usage. That means never grab pre-packaged fruit and veg at the supermarket, avoid the single plastic bags as much as possible, and buy goods in bulk to reduce the packaging.
If you haven't tried them, beeswax wraps are a great way to reduce the amount of cling film you use. They can be used on everything except raw meat, and they look fabulous in your fridge!
If you've seen the ABC's War on Waste (of course you have), you'll remember the tram filled with disposable coffee cups. I've been an avid keep cup user for years, but seeing that tram really freaked me out. So if you don't yet own a keep cup (or you have one but you don't use it), you'll love our HuskeeCup. It's made from recycled coffee husks - and it looks so cool you'll want to show it off in the office!
And of course, the scourge of our earth - the plastic water bottle. I hunted high and low to find a drink bottle that looks cool, is easy to clean, and can be carried around with ease. And then I found memobottle. Aussie designed with style and practicality in mind the flat water bottle goes where other bottles can't. The A6 size fits in your small handbag, clutch, or the back pocket of your jeans (so awesome), and the A5 size slips into your laptop bag or larger handbag. I'm obsessed with these bottles!!
Eat your greens
I recently found out just how bad meat production is for the environment. New analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein in the average adult diet, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% and still feed the world. And did you know that the loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
I was pretty shocked by this and realised that Mr Finch and I eat waaayyyy too much meat. Our go-to 20 minute weekday meal is a steak with a nice salad, and it has led to us eating meat at least 3-4 times per week. So we're on a mission to reduce this.
I've found so much vegetarian inspiration from Hetty McKinnon's cookbook series - you can tell because they're the only cookbook series that I stock! If you're also keen to reduce your meat consumption, these cookbooks are a great place to start. Here's a quick breakdown:
Community = the best salads you'll ever make (this is my daily go-to)
Neighbourhood = vegetarian fare that's influenced by Europe and South American flavours
Family = vegetarian everyday dinners that are simple, hearty and loved by all (this is my new favourite. I made the barley and lemon soup when I felt sick the other week - it was like a hug in a bowl!)
Feed the worms
I don't know about you, but food scraps are the waste item that I struggle with the most. I live in an apartment so I can't have a compost (we only have pots on our balcony, so it's really hard to mix the compost through the soil). But I think I've found the solution - worm farms. I have just set up a small worm farm (they have a great selection at Bunnings) and it takes almost all of my food scraps. I haven't had it long enough to figure out if its thriving, but I don't think my worms are dead yet!
If you are thinking about setting up a worm farm or compost, you might want to check out The Worm Monger. She's a clever (and hilarious) woman in Brisbane who knows basically everything there is to know about urban gardening. Grab her free eBook for an idiot's guide to worm farms (like I did).
Every little bit counts
Being completely waste free is a great objective but, we get it, it's almost impossible to achieve with our modern lifestyle. But if everyone you know reduced their plastic use, composted their food waste and ate meat one less night per week, it would have a huge accumulative impact on our environment. Just make a few changes in your daily routine and the planet will thank you for it.
If you are looking for single-use alternatives or want to increase the ethical products in your home, check out our War on Waste collection. We're really proud of it.