Australians generate more rubbish than our country can easily dispose of. Space in Sydney?s landfills is limited and filling up fast. On top of that, our recycling capacity isn?t sufficient for all the plastics we throw away.
The most expedient solution lies in producing less waste in the first place. This is a solution that individuals and families can take action to implement. Our officials won?t need to worry about disposing of waste we don?t create in the first place ? so a logical first step is for each family to give consideration to all the ways we could possibly reduce our own output of rubbish.
Even small lifestyle changes can reduce waste and can make a substantial difference. Here are 3 waste reduction ideas your family could consider implementing:
1. Compost Your Kitchen Scraps
You might be surprised at how much of your rubbish can be composted. You can stop throwing away things like carrot peels, eggshells and apple cores and compost them instead. In many cases, paper products can be recycled; but, as an alternative, they can be composted if necessary. Things like soiled napkins and paper towels shouldn?t be recycled; composting is the ideal way to dispose of them. You can also compost coffee grounds, used coffee filters, and heaps of other things.
Composting helps to reduce the volume of waste that accumulates in solid-waste landfills. This is because your rubbish, compostable or not, typically does not break down sustainably in a landfill. In a landfill, some rubbish breaks down anaerobically, which results in the creation of harmful methane gas; and some rubbish doesn?t break down at all. Either way, this is not ideal. It?s much more sustainable to actively take steps to compost your rubbish, which will allow it to biodegrade aerobically.
If you?re a gardener, you?re no doubt aware that composting produces nutrient-rich soil amendments that you can use in the garden to boost the health of your flowers, fruits, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Even if you don?t garden, you could still make use of the compost for growing houseplants or giving to a friend who does garden.
Want to give composting a try? See this page for a simple, step-by-step guide on how to do it.
2. Recycle What You Can
Considering that Australia does have some infrastructure for recycling in place, there are many things you can recycle when you no longer need them. Here are a few suggestions for household items that are recyclable:
3. Try These Easy Substitutions
There are heaps of disposable items that can easily be replaced with sustainable, reusable versions. You can replace disposable paper napkins with cloth ones that can be washed in the laundry and reused. Your family members can each fill up and drink from a stainless steel water bottle instead of purchasing bottled water. You can use reusable containers instead of plastic film for saving your leftovers and making the kiddos? lunches. You can stock up on cloth nappies and use them whenever practical instead of the disposable kind.
Taking these 3 small steps can help to ease Australia?s waste crisis. These actions can also help to create a cleaner and safer environment for future generations to enjoy.