Now Plastic Free July has been and gone, how are we going to say ‘no love to litter’ for the rest of the year?
Fortunately, there are more and more products, businesses and organisations offering fantastic solutions to reduce the amount of plastic we use that ultimately ends up in landfill.
According to recycle.co.nz about 252,000 tonnes of plastic waste is sent to New Zealand landfills each year – that’s massive when you think one bread bag weighs next to nothing.
Even more worrying is that all this plastic takes up about 20 percent of the space in our landfills and could take between 450 years and 1000 years to breakdown depending on what it’s made of. And we all know about nasty leachate and the impact plastic production and disposal is having on climate change (sad emoji).
So, I was pretty stoked to come across a few gems for Plastic Free July that I’m going to stick with in the months to come. These include:
One thing I’m struggling with is bamboo toothbrushes – I’ve recently discovered that the bristles on the brand I use don’t decompose – argh! Has anyone got any suggestions?
So Plastic Free July has opened some new doors to me that will help keep my waste to landfill down throughout the year - I’d love to hear your suggestions and recommendations for saying ‘no love to litter’ year-round. Please share your ideas in the comments below.
We all know WHY we need to reduce our waste. Our planet is drowning in it. Extracting resources from the earth, using them badly and throwing them away as waste and pollution is not sustainable.
Need some inspiration on things you can do?
There's so much fantastic information online, so let's dive in.
The Rubbish Trip
Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince are an amazing young couple who have been travelling around New Zealand for the past 3 years running free workshops on how to reduce your household rubbish. They call themselves the No Waste Nomads. Wastebusters was lucky enough to host them in the Matakana Hall in 2017, again in Warkworth in Sept 2018 and they've been back again in Leigh in 2019.
Not only do Hannah and Liam give out valuable information on everything from alternatives to packaging and making your own toothpaste and face cream, but they also compile regional shopping guides in all the places they visit giving zero waste options.
How's this for an idea? Make your own all-purpose household cleanser out of citrus peels and vinegar! Imagine how much money that will save you over a year!
Or this one. Make your own pesto and crackers. Quick, easy and no packaging.
Not ony will you will find many ideas to inspire you on Hannah and Liam's website, there is also great information on waste in general and what's happening politically, as well as podcasts.
Waveney Warth and Matthew Luxon decided to live rubbish free for a year and to document their progress as they went. Their website is chock full of helpful tips and 50 articles on living zero waste, covering everything from from bulk foods to razors to making your own bread. The bread is delicious - I have tried it myself and can highly recommend it!
Matthew & Waveney and their delicious zero waste home made bread.
Compost your food scraps
One of the most effective things you can do to reduce your household waste is to compost your food scraps. Nearly half of Auckland's landfill waste is food scraps and garden waste. And whilst Auckland Council will be introducing a food scrap collection service for urban Auckland soon, it will not extend to North Rodney.
Composting is easy and there are several different ways to do it including worm bins and bokashi bins.
The Compost Collective runs free courses all over Auckland and they also have great online materials. If you'd like a course near you, or some advice, send them an email. You can also get a discount off a compost system (sponsored by Auckland Council) if you attend one of their courses.
We're devoted to zero waste, and have wonderful local, wastebusters like Trish Allen, who will be sharing tips on reducing waste and keeping you up to date with what is happening at our Lawrie and Rustrybrook Road sites.