Avoid producing waste
Reducing your impact on the environment is as much about how you live in your home as it is about your home and its appliances. Reduce waste and you reduce your carbon footprint.
Being conscious of the amount of waste that is associated with the products that you buy and avoiding products that have unnecessary or excessive packaging is a good first step towards reducing household waste. For example, you can take your own bags to do the shopping, and avoid putting fruit and veggies in individual plastic bags.
Recycle household waste products
Most local councils supply a service for residents to recycle common waste products such as glass, cans, some plastics, paper and cardboard. If you do not have a recycling bin contact your council to arrange for one to be delivered.
Get to know your neighbours
Organise an annual garage sale or get involved in a national one like Garage Sale Trail.
Don’t forget if the garage sale is to be held on common property you’ll need to gain approval from the building’s owners corporation.
Consider arranging a monthly herb or veggie swap and a regular clothing and book swap.
A note for renters: you may need the approval of the owners corporation to hold this event.
Give unwanted items a new life
Save useful items from landfill by finding them a new home. As the saying goes, “one person’s trash is another’s treasure”. There are many ways to give life to unwanted clothes, furniture and books such as charity stores, markets and resource recovery centres.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing contributor to landfill and a growing concern for the environment. Each year millions of computers, modems, printers and mobile phones are thrown out. This e-waste not only adds to landfill, it contains toxic components which can leach into the water table.
Check with your local council to see if there is a safe way to dispose of old equipment before throwing it in the rubbish. You may also wish to ask your council for contact details of any local charities which collect old equipment and recondition them to give away to the disadvantaged and community groups.
For more information, go to:
- Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You: Find out about what you can and can’t recycle in your household services and search for local recycling drop-off locations.
- MobileMuster: A free mobile phone recycling program that accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batters, chargers and accessories to recycle these products in a safe, secure and ethical way. You can drop off your used phone at a nearby drop-off location or post them direct to MobileMuster.