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Reduce Plastic Waste On A Budget

 

 

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and spring has finally arrived. It’s time to leave behind those winter blues of cold weather, snowstorms and windy days spent indoors with Netflix bingeing.

Here in NSW, we will be permitted to have outdoor picnics with our families after we emerge from lockdown, and we're here to help you get back out there. Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic, and 50% of it is only used once before being thrown away. That’s why we want to help you make a difference by sharing simple steps on how to be more sustainable outdoors, on a budget!

There's no denying it, the rise of disposable plastics has been a huge problem for Australia and its environment. We've all seen the heartbreaking images of animals tangled in nets or caught on tarps that have been tossed into waterways - but we can avoid this fate by reducing our own plastic waste! Here are some tips to help you reduce your plastic use without breaking the bank.

Let’s break it down.

It's easier than you may think. Swap out your plastic drink bottles for a reusable water bottle - even if you buy bottled water, it's likely that some of those bottles are still not recycled! Stop buying single-use coffee cups by bringing around your own travel mug. Plastic bags can be swapped out in many shops for durable fabric versions made from recycled material or hemp. Always consider using a reusable alternative.

Furthermore…

1. Bring your own reusable produce bags to the grocery store.

2. Buy in bulk when you can so that you don't need as many plastic containers

3. Buy products in glass or metal packaging rather than plastic

4. Avoid disposable items like straws, cutlery, and cups that are made of plastic

5. If buying bottled water, bring a reusable bottle with you and refill it at water fountains or free filtered water stations around town!

6. Eat less take-out food and more home-cooked meals, which usually require less packaging

7. Utilise public transportation when possible (as well as walking or biking) - it reduces emissions from cars while also reducing gas costs

8. Recycle any plastic you do use by bringing it back to the store to recycle it in exchange for points towards future purchases

9. Use cloth napkins instead of paper or plastic ones

10. Op/thrift shopping! With the luxury of op shops, you can find your favourite brands and designers at affordable prices. You'll also get a chance to pick up some little gems in the way of unused homewares and items that have never been worn or used before!

We know how different everything will appear when we get out there and face the world. We can use this time to establish new routines and traditions that will keep us grounded while also improving our environment for our families and community as a whole. We can take the time we have before we 'step out and do things that help us to be well prepared. We (and our children) will be better for it and we will all remember these moments together as a family and not just another thing on the list of, "I should haves".