OUR PLEDGE – Landfill Once a Year!

Reducing Landfill

Our progressive local council, Lake Mac have kicked off their food waste composting program, and we are excited…

You see our Landfill bin use to go out more than us (sorry, terrible Dad joke) however with all our food waste now being composted, our little family of four have made a pledge to  put our Landfill Bin out only once a year!

Landfill Pledge

Cue – Gasps of horror from our family and friends!

We are actually quite confident after months of discussion, that with a few, fairly small changes, and some extra effort to recycle more, it’s actually very achievable.

So what’s the plan….

 

Like many Aussie families, we have already started the journey towards living waste free. Over 50% of Australian household waste is organic and can be diverted from Landfill

  • We compost at home, however previously this has been limited to fruit and vegie scraps. The majority of our waste is organic, and so composting has already dramatically cut down on our Landfill. The resulting compost is also amazing for helping my garden grow, even in periods of less rain, and for making my beloved pot plants look their best.
  • Our gorgeous pantry looks like my Nana’s did, with large bulk quantities of everything in glass jars, and piles of fresh produce. It’s where I spend alot of my time when home, and it’s  super convenient.
  • We use reusable cups for coffee. Coffee cups are non-recyclable without specific facilities because of the waxed coating, and so can really increase your landfill footprint. I have even stashed an extra set of 4 in the car now for caffeine, and hot chocolate ‘emergencies’.
  • We say no to plastic convenience at home. So no straws, no clingwrap, no wet wipes, no cotton wool buds, and only our Australian Certified compostable bags for liners, shopping bags and produce bags, all of which we compost after use. To be honest, I did have a hard time initially breaking up with cling wrap, however after building on my collection of reusable containers, I now have the right size for everything … and can normally match a lid to a base! Our lunch boxes are now single-use plastic free, and the sandwiches are just as fresh!

    zero waste

    Landfill items – The small things add up!

What’s going to be new…

  • We will need to be even more committed to the weekend markets. When we don’t get there, the increased packaging we bring home is remarkable.
  • If I miss my butchers closing time, we are vegetarian for the next few days. That way we don’t get stuck with meat trays and moisture cells which often are not recyclable. My lovely butcher even puts our meat into our compostable bags, which also saves on a single use plastic bag.
  • We are breaking up with coffee pods and tea bags. Did you know, in Italy, there are very few takeaway cups, as despite a culture obsessed with coffee, the Italians believe you should pause at the bar, and savour a few slow seconds enjoying the fragrance and taste of your fresh brew! I’m embracing this Italian traditional, and learning to deliberately enjoy the process of pausing to make a coffee or tea.

What’s left, when we are not quite waste free..

  • Textiles and broken items (I have a tendency to break wine glasses, which are not recyclable) We already try to buy good quality, natural fabrics and hand on items once the kids have outgrown them.
  • Some soft plastic packaging! There are certain products that my kids love, and while I’ve tried alternatives, such as home cooking and bulk stores, sometimes in the early morning, with a grumpy three year old, it’s best to comply to their wishes of their favorite cereal, particularly if it’s a healthy choice. Equally, to confess, with a full time job, and busy family life, sometimes I just need the convenience of packet biscuits and gourmet cheeses so I can invite my girlfriends over to debrief on a Friday afternoon!

I know some would consider this cheating, and I know many families achieve amazing zero waste lives. However for our little family, while we are working to minimise packaging, soft plastic from some packaging is a reality. We are however taking advantage of Soft Plastic Bins at our local Supermarket, and dropping our packaging back at the local store for recycling. If everyone were to do this, it sends a really strong message about consumers expectation of  corporate responsibility, and as the volume of that waste grows, and the management of that waste becomes more expensive, commercial businesses who produce excess plastic packaging will be increasingly likely to introduce more suitable alternatives such as compostable packaging, even if that are a little more expensive.

So with these strategies in place, we are confident we can put our Landfill Bin out once a year! However as things evolve, I’ll be sure to share how it’s going, and would love to hear your tips!

So with Plastic Free July now behind us, what’s your pledge!

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