Australian’s are making more of an effort than ever to tread lightly on our earth and Aussie retailers are starting to hop on board the green living train. We’ve seen supermarkets ban single use plastic bags and work towards reducing unnecessary packaging. There’s a long way to go yet for Aussie brands, however the anti-plastic movement is gaining momentum.
We’ve put together 7 tips to help you navigate a plastic free life, with ease!
1. Life without single use plastic bags
So, you’ve spent shopping with single use plastic bags and using them to line your bins? Here are some simple alternatives:
Reusable, jute totes are fabulous to take with you on the go. Or, cotton bags that you can reuse and wash frequently. Pop some in your bag and car so you are never caught short.
Purchase certified compostable bio-based bags.
Compost fresh waste.
Don’t line your bin - freeze anything that could cause an unpleasant odour until bin night and throw everything else straight from the bin to the wheelie.
Look around for the worst offenders. Baby pouches, plastic wrap, food storage, straws etc. Then search our stores for an alternative. Importantly, don’t just throw it out. Continue to reuse what you have.
• Metal Straws with Cleaning Brush, $3 from Kmart
• Nude Rubbish Free Lunch Box, $14.20 from Coles
• Sistema To Go Lunch Cube Max, $9.99 from Woolworths
• Sistema Yogurt To Go 2 Pack, $5 from Big W
3. Buy Fresh Fruit & Veg
Where possiblity buy fresh fruit and vegetables to avoid unnecessary packaging.
4. Shop in bulk
Package free, zero waste stores are popping up all over Australia where you can buy wholefoods, health foods and super foods in bulk. The products have minimal processing and no repackaging.
5. One man’s trash…
One hugely popular trend is to resell items or ‘pay it forward’. Rather than binning old items, think about reselling or giving them away. There are many great sites to facilitate this like Freecycle, Ziilch or online free/swap Facebook groups. Even consider hosting a good old garage sale!
6. Food storage
Plastic wrap, zip lock bags, freezer bags, plasticware. So convenient! A saviour for mums and dads worldwide. But for our planet, a very different story. So, what can you use instead?
Glass jars are fabulous for freezing and storing food. Just make sure you don’t overfill them, or the expansion could break the glass. You can also pour some water over the (frozen) food to create an ice seal, preventing freezer burn. Simply rinse off with warm water before defrosting. Stainless steel latch containers are also fabulous.
7. Have fun!
Your plastic free journey is a great way to have fun with your family! Growing, cooking and storing food teaches kids a fun range of skills. And, if you don’t have space for your own garden, community gardens are popping up everywhere. The change to a plastic free household may seem overwhelming. Simply start with what’s achievable for you and work from there. Good luck!