Sustainable living Click to enlarge image
Reduce waste Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

The best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place!

Less stuff

It's simple. Buy only what you need and use all of what you buy.

Say 'no' to plastic bags

Refuse store bags when you buy only a few items or take a reusable bag with you. If you do get plastic bags, reuse them for as long as they hold up.

It's estimated that plastic bags may take between 500 to 1,000 years to breakdown in landfill.

Be package wise

Look for products with minimal or recyclable packaging. Avoid single-serve containers or individually wrapped items and choose the concentrated or refillable form of products like juices and cleaning products.

Buy in bulk

Reduce waste from packaging by buying in bulk. For example, buy the largest box of toothpaste, dishwasher detergent, or cereal, rather than a series of small boxes. This will reduce waste and save you money.

Fresh is best

Buy less processed foods and more fresh fruits and veggies. They come wrapped by nature in their own natural packaging and any waste can be tossed in the compost or worm farm.

Grow your own

Start a garden in your backyard or contribute to a community vegetable patch. Food that you grow yourself reduces waste from packaging, as well as carbon emissions from production, processing and transport.

NO junk mail!

Place a No junk mail sign on your mailbox. Try to reduce the mail that comes to your house in paper format such as newspapers and catalogues. Opt to receive bills by email and pay them online.