Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Tips
We are living in a time where we understand more about our planet, its ecosystems and the impacts of human activity. Without careful management, these impacts could have long lasting effects on our environment and our way of life. We have the responsibility for ensuring that as both a government and a community, we do everything that we can to reduce the burden on our environment and our precious resources.
FACT: Food and garden organics waste in the Hawkesbury accounts for between 40 – 50% of waste sent to landfill.
Waste Reduction Tips
- Need V’s Want – always ask yourself if you really need the item or want it to AVOID unnecessary items?
- Make a list – buy only what you need AVOID impulse buying by sticking to the list. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
- Bag you’re shopping – in reusable (organic cotton or hemp) bags, baskets or backpacks to AVOID plastic
- Household cleaners – buy and use less, read the labels AVOID the more toxic products and look for natural and safer alternatives
- Buy in bulk – as it REDUCES the amount of packaging and will save you money
- Concentrated products – often means REDUCED packaging and energy to transport
- Buy REUSABLE products - AVOID single use products like batteries, nappies, disposable razors, plates or cutlery
- Choose products – with none or RECYCLABLE packaging (fresh fruit Vs frozen)
- Fresh fruit & veggies – come with NO PACKAGING and even better if they come from your own backyard
- Is it reliable? Can it be repaired, refilled, reused and restored? Will the product last as it gets older?
- Other alternatives - like buying second-hand, hiring / renting or borrowing less used items. Use your local library
- Shop ethically - every purchase makes an impact, your dollar is your vote
GREAT RECYCLING TIP: Being a good recycler is one thing, but you can be a great recycler by buying things made from recycled material. Close the loop by buying products with recycled content in things like plastic containers, packaging, boxes, toilet paper, wrapping and copy paper.
In the Home
- AVOID plastic bags for rubbish completely by using biodegradable bags for the kitchen bin, allowing them to break down in landfill. Even better use bags from cereal, bread and frozen food for wet or messy garbage
- No Junk Mail – add a sticker to your letterbox to REDUCE paper wastage. Contact the Distributions Standards Board on 1800 676 136 for a free “No Advertising Material" sticker
- Phone Books – cancel deliveries to your home through Directory Select
- Donate containers – from margarine, ice-cream and even egg cartons to your local schools or childcare for REUSE in craft activities
- Donate books – and magazines to schools, hospitals, charity book stalls or second hand booksellers
- Store – household items like buttons and screws in REUSABLE glass jars and bottles
- Lighting – use low-energy fluorescent light bulbs which last longer and cost less over time. RECYCLE your used bulbs through the Chemical Cleanout service
FACT: The average Australian household wastes more than $1,000 every year purchasing items they never use. So buy only what you need and save.
In the Garden
- Lawn clippings – leave them on the lawn as you mow, saving time and also fertilising your lawn
- Compost – food and garden waste
- Cleaners – can be bought in refill packs, or even better, start natural cleaning
- Tea – sold in tea bags can cost up to twice as much as that sold in bulk. You can also buy your coffee freshly ground into your own container
- Chips – sold in small individual packets can cost up to 44% more then the same amount sold in larger packets. Separate them into Tupperware containers or individual zip lock bags that can also be washed and used over
- Bulk – buying of rice, flour, potatoes, and sugar can save money and waste
- Salt – sold in recyclable cardboard is much cheaper then salt sold in plastic
- Toilet cleaners – do little more then change the colour of the water
- Borrow – books from the library or second-hand instead of buying new ones
- Write – to the manufacturer of your favourite product if it doesn’t come in recyclable or reusable packaging
- Mug – use your own for takeaway coffee, AVOIDing disposable containers
- Takeaway – ask them to AVOID using extra wrapping and plastic cutlery, even better, take your own containers
- Nappies – use cloth or a nappy service wash service instead of disposable nappies
- Garage sales – and donating to charity are a great way to REUSE old furniture, TVs, appliances and clothes
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